A lonely barfly falls in love with a married bar singer.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Gábor Balogh
János Balogh
Péter Breznyik Berg
Imre Chmelik
...
Sebestyén
Zoltán Csorba
József Dénes
Zoltán Farkas
Gáspár Ferdinándy
Jenõ Gaál
János 'Dixi' Gémes ...
(as János Gémes)
Károly Hunyadi
Ágnes Kamondy
Sándor Kaszab
Vali Kerekes ...
The Singer
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Storyline

"Kárhozat / Damnation" tells the story of Karrer (Miklos B. Szekely), a depressed man in love with a married woman (Vali Kerekes) who sings at the local bar, Titanik. The singer has broken off their affair, despite her profession of love for him. She wants to improve her life. She dreams of becoming famous, but she herself embodies all of Karrer's hopes and dreams. Karrer is offered smuggling work by Willarsky (Gyula Pauer), the bartender at Titanik. Despite his lack of other prospects, Karrer tries to haggle with Willarsky over his take. Karrer eventually decides to offer the job to the singer's husband, Sebastyen (Gyorgy Cserhalmi), who has fallen on hard times. This gets the husband out of the way for a while, but things don't go as Karrer plans with the singer. There's a big, drunken dance, which everyone in town attends (though one demented soul prefers to dance maniacally in the rain outside). Afterwards, one betrayal falls upon another, leaving Karrer in despair, alienated from... Written by Ulf Kjell Gür

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Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

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Details

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Release Date:

20 October 1988 (Hungary)  »

Also Known As:

Damnation  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There is no dialogue until 7 minutes into the film. See more »

Goofs

In the Dance/Party scene, the band and the music are clearly out of sync. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Werckmeister harmóniák (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Kárhozat: Entrancing, Mysterious, and Inspiring

The film that launched director Béla Tarr into international attention, Kárhozat is the Hungarian's first major investigation of the nature of humanity.

Trailing the exploits of alcoholic depressive Karrer, Kárhozat presents us with a view of a desolate and decrepit Hungarian town. He spends his days wandering from bar to bar, obsessing over a married lounge singer and part-time lover whom he longs to elope with. Passing off a job to collect a package to the husband, he buys himself three days alone with the object of his desires.

As is now his trademark, Tarr brings us the minimal number of shots: slow, winding, thoughtful and beautiful. His approach is simultaneously simple and complicated, showing us at the same time nothing and everything. The aesthetic of the film is astounding, beauty created wonderfully in the chaos and destruction of the landscape. The brooding intensity of the omnipresent coal trains dominates the work, an indicator of lost industry and decline. Miklós Székely leads the cast with the perfect stoic facade, his granite face holding back the weight of an emotional past and the crippling need for escape. The sinister and critical bartender gives us Karrer's true opinion of himself, one he would rather not face up to, whilst the sagacious old woman provides the film's sensibility and reason. The plot itself is not so important as the camera's journey and the character's silent ruminations, leading unavoidably to a wonderful climax and one which does exactly what it should: causes us to question our own lives and the oddity of humankind.

With beautiful, paced, unconventional direction, Tarr gives us an intimate portrait of ourselves and our world. Achieving an incredible amount with a minimalistic approach, the film is entrancing, mysterious, and inspiring. Telling us as much with his landscapes as with his characters, Tarr's Kárhozat is a testament to the brilliance of this creative juggernaut.


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