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Repentance (1984)

Monanieba (original title)
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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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
David Giorgobiani ...
Sandro Barateli (as Edisher Giorgobiani)
Kakhi Kavsadze ...
Mikheil Koresheli
Merab Ninidze ...
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
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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

Official Sites:

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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:

| (VHS)

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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

Mikheil Koresheli: Listen, Sandro. I thought a lot. I was thinking all nights through. We must name as many people as possible as the nation's enemies. They can't arrest them all. And when the number of the accused reaches an astronomical figure, those at the top will think twice, convene an extraordinary assembly and expose all the criminals that have misled the government. Do you understand, Sandro? This is tactics. A cunning, crafty tactics. We'll sign everything, we'll bring it to absurdity, to absolute ...
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Soundtracks

Il Trovatore
Composed by Giuseppe Verdi
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User Reviews

 
An astonishing portrait of a totalitarian monster
2 November 2006 | by (Somerset, England) – See all my reviews

This wonderful Georgian film emerged from the last years of the Soviet regime, but seems to have disappeared without trace. The final film of a trilogy by the veteran film-maker Tengiz Abuladze, it portrays a composite monster, Varlam (Hitler moustache, Mussolini shirt & braces, Stalin boots, Beria pince-nez) and his equally grotesque son Abel, both played by the same actor.

The film has a surrealist, dreamlike quality about it, framed by initial and final scenes in a cake-shop and with police almost comic in medieval armour. The main actions which initiate the plot are surrealist with the repeated exhumation of Varlam's corpse. The two monstrous central characters are no more than mayors of a small Georgian town - but there is nothing comic about their actions and the reign of terror they bring to the community. The elements of tyranny are revealed economically, with hints of atrocities and disappearances but only one brief torture scene. The overall message is that of personal responsibility. The tyrannical regime is not an anonymous bureaucracy but the deliberate creation of evil men. And the final repentance is a horrific recognition of those responsibilities. An unmissable film, beautifully made and superbly acted - if you can find it.


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