Writer Franz Kafka works during the day at an insurance company where events lead him to discover a mysterious underground society with strange suppressive goals.



1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A young boy struggles on his own in a run-down motel after his parents and younger brother are separated from him in 1930s Depression-era Midwest.

Director: Steven Soderbergh
Stars: Jesse Bradford, Jeroen Krabbé, Lisa Eichhorn
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A recovering gambling addict attempts to reconcile with his family and friends but finds trouble and temptation when caught between feelings for his ex-wife and her dangerous hoodlum boyfriend.

Director: Steven Soderbergh
Stars: Peter Gallagher, Elisabeth Shue, Alison Elliott
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A sexually repressed woman's husband is having an affair with her sister. The arrival of a visitor with a rather unusual fetish changes everything.

Director: Steven Soderbergh
Stars: James Spader, Andie MacDowell, Peter Gallagher
Bubble I (2005)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Set against the backdrop of a decaying Midwestern town, a murder becomes the focal point of three people who work in a doll factory.

Director: Steven Soderbergh
Stars: Debbie Doebereiner, Omar Cowan, Dustin James Ashley
Schizopolis (1996)
Comedy | Fantasy | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Fletcher Munson, the lethargic employee of a pseudo-religious self help company, and his doppelganger, the friendly but dull dentist Dr. Jeffrey Korchek.

Director: Steven Soderbergh
Stars: Steven Soderbergh, Miles Hardy, Scott Allen
The Limey (1999)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An extremely volatile and dangerous Englishman goes to Los Angeles to find the man he considers responsible for his daughter's death.

Director: Steven Soderbergh
Stars: Terence Stamp, Peter Fonda, Lesley Ann Warren
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

While in post-war Berlin to cover the Potsdam Conference, an American military journalist is drawn into a murder investigation which involves his former mistress and his driver.

Director: Steven Soderbergh
Stars: George Clooney, Cate Blanchett, Tobey Maguire
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

After doctors inform him that an eye affliction will require risky surgery, monologist Spalding Gray recounts his various pursuits for alternative medicine to avoid the doctor's scalpel.

Director: Steven Soderbergh
Stars: Spalding Gray, Mike McLaughlin, Melissa Robertson
Full Frontal (2002)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

A day in the life of a group of men and women in Hollywood, in the hours leading up to a friend's birthday party.

Director: Steven Soderbergh
Stars: Julia Roberts, David Hyde Pierce, David Duchovny
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A look at the art of Spalding Gray who drew from real life experience to create a compelling and deeply personal series of monologues.

Director: Steven Soderbergh
Stars: Spalding Gray
Yes: 9012 Live (Video 1985)
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The legendary YES line-up of Jon Anderson, Chris Squire, Trevor Rabin, Alan White, and Tony Kaye performs in this landmark concert that's become a home video favorite! Directed by ... See full summary »

Director: Steven Soderbergh
Stars: Jon Anderson, Tony Kaye, Trevor Rabin
Che: Part Two (2008)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

In 1967, Ernesto 'Che' Guevara leads a small partisan army to fight an ill-fated revolutionary guerrilla war in Bolivia, South America.

Director: Steven Soderbergh
Stars: Demián Bichir, Rodrigo Santoro, Benicio Del Toro


Cast overview, first billed only:
Doctor Murnau
The Chief Clerk
Castle Henchman
Assistant Ludwig
Assistant Oscar
Robert Flemyng ...
The Keeper of the Files
Matyelok Gibbs ...
Solemn Anarchist
Female Anarchist (as Hilde Van Meighem)
Jan Nemejovský ...
Mustachioed Anarchist


Kafka, an insurance worker gets embroiled in an underground group after a co-worker is murdered. The underground group is responsible for bombings all over town, attempting to thwart a secret organization that controls the major events in society. He eventually penetrates the secret organization and must confront them. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


PG-13 | See all certifications »





Release Date:

15 November 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Кафка  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$11,000,000 (estimated)


$1,100,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (TV)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Several characters in this film have the same names as characters in Kafka's books, but are quite different otherwise - for example, the girl played by Theresa Russell is surnamed "Rossman", the name of the 16-year-old hero of "Amerika", whilst the police inspector is called "Grubach", the name of Joseph K.'s landlady in "The Trial". See more »


Inspector Grubach: Kafka. Kafka, Kafka... Is that your real name?
Franz Kafka: Yes. W-why shouldn't it be?
See more »


Referenced in Map of the Sounds of Tokyo (2009) See more »


Prelude To A Sneeze
Written-By Cliff Martinez and Jeff Rona
Performed by Jeff Rona
(p) & © 1992 Virgin Records America, Inc.
distributed by WEA through arrangement with Atlantic Records.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

An Admirable Effort
3 November 2012 | by (Israel) – See all my reviews

Much like David Cronenberg's 'Naked Lunch', 'Kafka' attempts to merge a biographical film and a literary adaptation, by combining elements from Franz Kafka's notoriously unfilmable books and stories with details from his real life. The thing is, where Steven Soderbergh's film is an admirable effort at filming Kafka's work, other films by more accomplished directors, made around the same time or several years earlier, managed to capture Kafka's spirit much more successfully without ever mentioning his name or the title of any of his works - Scorsese's 'After Hours', Woody Allen's 'Shadows and Fog', and to a lesser extent Terry Gilliam's 'Brazil' and Joel & Ethan Coen's 'Barton Fink' all achieve Kafka's unique feeling of futility and paranoia, as well as his pitch black sense of humor, while 'Kafka' resembles Kafka's writing mainly on the surface. This is the script's fault more than Soderbergh's, because the film looks great and delivers the dark, weird disconcerting feeling of Kafka's works, but by not delving into the philosophy behind them, by having almost no sense of humor, and by adhering to a pretty straightforward conspiracy plot, it remains little more than an aesthetic illustration of what a Kafka film might look like.

Despite a weak script, the film manages several memorable scenes, mainly thanks to terrific cinematography and a wonderful cast - Jeremy Irons, surprisingly, not being one of the film's standout performance. Rather, it's more minor characters played by Joel Grey, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Keith Allen, Simon McBurney and the great Alec Guinness in his last feature film role that stick to the viewer's mind, and for brief moments they can create the sense of paranoia, of surreal, nightmarish bureaucracy that is at the root of Kafka's writing; again, without the underlying philosophy, there's something unsatisfying about the overall result, and the story keeps distracting from the more interesting aspects. The film is, overall, interesting but frustrating; it's probably worth watching for Kafka fans, but it's not good enough to truly appease them. On the other hand, it may be too confusing for anyone who isn't familiar enough with his work.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Brazil ereiamtg
Hey! How about a DVD already! dk303808909
For a Kafka fan? taylor-oneill
If you want the DVD, then vote for it! teddles-1
what's the connection? Appearance
Film Score spacehunter81
Discuss Kafka (1991) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: