Kafka (1991)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Mystery  |  15 November 1991 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 7,586 users   Metascore: 46/100
Reviews: 52 user | 32 critic | 17 from Metacritic.com

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.



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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 ...
Ion Caramitru ...
Solemn Anarchist
Hilde Van Mieghem ...
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>

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PG-13 | See all certifications »





Release Date:

15 November 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Кафка  »

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
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Did You Know?


Just before going to the Castle, Kafka ask Bizzlebek to burn his manuscripts if he never came back. Bizzlebek replies "such an extraordinary request". This is in reference of the real request Kafka asked his friend Max Brod before dying. Brod couldn't go with the request and had Kafka's work published. See more »


Doctor Murnau: You despise someone like me - because you despise the modern. But you are at the very forefront of what is modern. You write about it, you document it... Unlike you, though, I have chosen to embrace it.
See more »


References Eraserhead (1977) See more »

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User Reviews

Kafka, brought to life by Soderbergh
14 July 2001 | by See all my reviews

Many filmmakers have often failed when attempting to adapt the work of writer Franz Kafka (most famously Orson Wells), so it comes as quite a surprise to see Steven Soderbergh mixing his life and fiction with fantastic results. The story concerns Kafka (a never better Jeremy Irons) investigating the disappearance of one of his work colleagues. The plot takes Kafka through many of the writer's own works, most notably "The Castle" and "The Trial"...

With his follow up to the cool indie hit Sex, lies and videotape (1989) Soderbergh switches both style and ideas completely, creating an evocative and ethereal world of 1920 Prague, full of shadows and bizarre mutations. He also employs shifts between colour and black and white film stock, to give the film a more dreamlike feel.

Visually it is similar to another film from the same year, Lars Von Trier's Europa (1991), which also was about a man searching for the truth. But Kafka is more accessible, being both a gripping thriller and in some ways a black comedy. But however you choose to look at it, there is no denying Kafka's ability to amaze and enthral.

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