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Satantango (1994)

Sátántangó (original title)
Plotting on a payment they are about to receive, residents of a collapsing collective farm see their plans turn into desolation when they discover that Irimiás, a former co-worker who they thought was dead, is coming back to the village.



(novel), (story) | 4 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mihály Vig ...
Putyi Horváth ...
Petrina (as Dr. Putyi Horváth)
László feLugossy ...
Éva Almássy Albert ...
Schmidtné (as Éva Almási Albert)
János Derzsi ...
Irén Szajki ...
Alfréd Járai ...
Miklós B. Székely ...
Futaki (as Miklós Székely B.)
Erzsébet Gaál ...
György Barkó ...
Zoltán Kamondi ...
Barna Mihók ...
Péter Dobai ...
András Bodnár ...
Horgos Sanyi
Erika Bók ...


In a small, dilapidated village in 1990s Hungary, life has come to a virtual stand-still. The Autumn rains have started. A few of the villagers expect to receive a large cash payment that evening, and then plan to leave. Some want to abscond earlier with more than their fair share of the money. However they hear that the smooth-talking Irimias, who they thought had died, is returning. They are apprehensive that he will take all their money in one of his grandiose schemes to keep the community going. Written by Will Gilbert

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama


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Release Date:

28 April 1994 (Hungary)  »

Also Known As:

Satantango  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »


Százados: Not that human life was so highly valued. Keeping order appears to be the business of the authorities, but in fact it's the business of all. Order. Freedom, however, has nothing human. It's something divine, something... our lives are too short for us to know properly. If you're looking for a link, think of Pericles, order and freedom are linked by passion. We have to believe in both, we suffer from both. Both from order and freedom. But human life is meaningful, rich, beautiful and filthy. It ...
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Referenced in Elephant (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

Nearly eight hours of pure bliss
29 January 2006 | by (Berlin, Germany) – See all my reviews

This is my favorite film of all time and its such a pity that it gets screened so rarely, but who can blame the cinemas as not too many people are prepared to take Tarr's advice and call in sick in order to spend eight hours at the movies instead of going to work. Also, I reckon this is one of the very few films you actually have to see on a big screen, so even if it was available on DVD, it wouldn't do much good. I've seen it three times so far and I got blown away every single time. So I really urge you to give it a go if this epic masterpiece comes anywhere near you. First time I saw it was on the Berlin Film Festival in 94 and I have to admit I wasn't really prepared to sit through the whole thing, but after three hours I was completely hooked and when the credits finally rolled in, I was rather sad that it was over. I would have liked to spend another few hours in this strange and compelling world. OK, the plot in itself is kinda depressing and bearing in mind that it runs for so many hours, not that much happens, but to complain about the absence of jolly dialog and action packed stunts would be completely beside the point. You just have to be willing to go along with Tarr's approach and once you accept that storytelling here is a bit different to what you are used to, the whole thing it is more exciting, entertaining and gripping than everything you've ever seen. Tarr's main achievement in my view is that he creates a completely new form of imagery and its so utterly convincing that I still wonder why it never caught on big time. Instead of editing the takes into a scene during post production, he shots almost everything in one go with the help of a steady cam. As the takes are as long as 7 minutes (just a spirited guess, I never timed them) and involve occasionally more than 9 actors its just utterly amazing how Tarr choreographs actors and camera in a way that it seems perfectly natural and you get to see exactly what you need to see. Well its pretty hard to explain if you haven't seen it as it really is so different from everything else. What can I tell you? Every single frame is aesthetically a revelation, thus making this an utter delight from start to finish. I could harp on endlessly about why I love this film so much. About the absolutely convincing atmosphere, the great acting, the inventive use of lighting, how the story unfolds, the subtle use of humor, but as it is with all great love affairs, words fail to even hint at the magnificence of Sátántangó. Go, see and believe.

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