8.4/10
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28 user 6 critic

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
...
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

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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)

Sound Mix:

Color:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

In West Germany Repentance was broadcast by ZDF on 13 October 1987. The broadcast was received and widely seen in East Germany where the film was banned. East German television viewers reacted strongly as they saw parallels to their own regime. This reaction forced East German authorities and the East German press to react. Harald Wessel, second editor in chief of Neues Deutschland and the editor in chief of the Junge Welt, Hans-Dieter Schütt published editorials in their newspapers that tried to both denounce the film and to avoid anti-Soviet undertones. The situation was complicated by the fact that the editorials were for a film that was banned and should theoretically be unknown to East German readers. 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

Ketevan Barateli: On behalf of everyone who was unjustly punished, I demand that Varlam Aravidze be dug up from his grave by his own relatives.
Guliko: I protest! All you've heard here is a lie and slander!
Ketevan Barateli: Slander? Prove that it's a slander!
Prosecutor: You mean that the deceased should not be buried?
Ketevan Barateli: No, you must not bury him! Let the carrion crows tear him to pieces! Burying him means forgiving him, shutting our eyes to everything he had perpetrated. I publicly declare once again: If you don't dig him up, I will get him, I will ...
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Soundtracks

Who Made Little Boy Blue?
Vocals by Elsie Carlisle
Performed by Bert Ambrose and His Orchestra
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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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