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Repentance (1984)
"Monanieba" (original title)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  1984 (Soviet Union)
8.4
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Ratings: 8.4/10 from 1,802 users  
Reviews: 23 user | 6 critic

The day after the funeral of Varlam Aravidze, the mayor of a small Georgian town, his corpse turns up in his son's garden and is secretly reburied. But the corpse keeps returning, and the ... See full summary »

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Title: Repentance (1984)

Repentance (1984) on IMDb 8.4/10

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 11 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Varlam Aravidze / Abel Aravidze
Iya Ninidze ...
Guliko
Zeinab Botsvadze ...
Ketevan Barateli
Ketevan Abuladze ...
Nino Barateli
Edisher Giorgobiani ...
Sandro Barateli
Kakhi Kavsadze ...
Mikheil Koresheli
...
Tornike
Nino Zaqariadze ...
Elene Korisheli
Nano Ochigava ...
Ketevan as a child
Boris Tsipuria
Akaki Khidasheli
Leo Antadze ...
(as Levan Antadze)
Rezo Esadze
Mzia Makhviladze ...
(as M. Makhazadze)
Amiran Amiranashvili
Edit

Storyline

The day after the funeral of Varlam Aravidze, the mayor of a small Georgian town, his corpse turns up in his son's garden and is secretly reburied. But the corpse keeps returning, and the police eventually capture a local woman, who is accused of digging it up. She says that Varlam should never be laid to rest because he was responsible for a Stalin-like reign of terror that led to the disappearance of many of her friends... Written by Michael Brooke <michael@everyman.demon.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

son | mayor | funeral | sex scene | old woman | See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

1984 (Soviet Union)  »

Also Known As:

Repentance  »

Box Office

Gross:

$215,496 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Tengiz Abuladze stated that the idea to this film was based on a real incident (a local dignitary's corpse being exhumed and placed at the family's porch in the western Georgian region of Mingrelia). See more »

Goofs

After Varlam's corpse has been reburied the second time, an iron cage is placed over his grave to protect it from further intrusion. But as the perpetrator starts to exhume him for the third time, there is no cage. See more »

Quotes

Old Woman: Excuse me, does this street lead to a church? I want to know whether this street leads to a church.
Ketevan Barateli: No, this is Varlam Street, and it doesn't lead to a church.
Old Woman: Then what do you need it for? Why have a road that doesn't lead to a church?
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Story of Film: An Odyssey: Episode #1.12 (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Thought provoking, darkly funny, and beautifully made
28 January 2011 | by (US) – See all my reviews

A striking (and politically astonishing for it's day) act of self-examination, self-criticism and ultimately self-laceration of a film made in the Soviet Union.

This is a darkly funny, playfully surrealistic, scathing satire of the Stalinist era's turning the entire population of an empire into suspects to be jailed, exiled and eliminated at whim. Full of striking images and strong performances.

Told in flashback, it starts from the death of a seemingly beloved small town mayor who we come to learn played the role of a local Stalin. Likable and even playful on the surface, the more we see his ever growing darkness the more disturbing the film becomes, as he ever more readily destroys those who might be enemies, or are simply inconvenient.

This flashback tale is framed by watching his family, after his death, trying to deal with their own feelings of and denials of guilt, as a local woman, her life ruined by the mayor, stands trial for repeatedly digging up his corpse again and again.

Far from a perfect film, some of the surrealistic imagery works better than others, and some twists seem a bit like 'easy' explanations of complex behavior, but this is still a fascinating, challenging and unique film about one of the great horrors of the last century. And an effective cautionary tale about the power of a paranoid state.


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