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Repentance (1984)
"Monanieba" (original title)

8.2
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 1,879 users  
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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 8.2/10

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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
Ia Ninidze ...
Guliko (as Iya Ninidze)
Zeinab Botsvadze ...
Ketevan Barateli
Ketevan Abuladze ...
Nino Barateli
Edisher Giorgobiani ...
Sandro Barateli
Kakhi Kavsadze ...
Mikheil Koresheli
...
Tornike
Nino Zakariadze ...
Elene Korisheli (as Nino Zaqariadze)
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

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

March 1987 (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

Movie was ready for release in 1984, but it was banned until 1987 (premiere in Cannes). 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 »

Soundtracks

Il Trovatore
Composed by Giuseppe Verdi
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User Reviews

 
Attacking the Stalinist era one man at a time...
2 January 2014 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

After the death of Stalin, folks in the Soviet Union were allowed to express their feelings towards his reign of terror...at least to a point. However, the government also was concerned that these complaints might lead to complaints about the current system--and this is probably why "Repentance" was banned for several years after it was filmed. It does attack the Stalinist era and mentality--but apparently those in power at the time weren't willing to allow such a film to be released.

"Repentance" is a very surreal sort of film--one which has many story elements that seem dreamy and unreal while the rest of it is quite literal. While there were purges, seeing the 20th century purges carried out by knights in armor, a living statue of Justice and many other story elements are dream-like and strange. This is not really a complaint--just an observation. The film looks almost like Dalí or Buñuel added a few touches here and there...just a few.

The story begins in the present day. The beloved mayor of a Georgian town, Varlem, has died and folks come to his funeral to pay their respects. However, several times after the funeral, the body of this man has been taken from the crypt and placed in his yard! After the third time, they catch the woman responsible and she is taken into custody. At the hearing, she openly admits having done it and tells a story of long ago--when Varlem first became mayor. At that time, he made a name for himself persecuting the innocent--and the story is about how this impacted the woman personally.

Following her long tale, the story goes to the present day. The hypocrisy and evil of Valem's friends are examined as well--including one case about a man who struggles between Atheism and Christianity. Under Christianity, he SHOULD feel guilt--and he ultimately gets to meet the Devil (this is pretty weird...and clever). Other folks all begin to confront their own part in Varlem's reign of terror.

Instead of this film directly attacking Stalinism, it clearly attacks these tactics on a smaller scale. And, I am sure it was not unintentional that Varlem looked much like a bloated Hitler! A very strange but daring film. While today it might be seen as very tame, back in the mid-1980s it must have caused the filmmakers a lot of problems--and potentially prison. Quite clever but quite slow and strange. Well worth seeing--especially if you lived through this era.


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