8.4/10
3,881
30 user 8 critic

Repentance (1984)

Monanieba (original title)
PG | | Drama | 18 May 1987 (Denmark)
Varlam, the despotic mayor of a small town, dies. After his funeral, his body is repeatedly unearthed and buried again. Through flashbacks and dreamlike scenes, we witness his rise, power and ambiguities.

Director:

Tengiz Abuladze
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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 12 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Avtandil Makharadze ... Varlam Aravidze / Abel Aravidze
Ia Ninidze ... Guliko (as Iya Ninidze)
Zeinab Botsvadze ... Ketevan Barateli
Ketevan Abuladze Ketevan Abuladze ... Nino Barateli
David Giorgobiani ... Sandro Barateli (as Edisher Giorgobiani)
Kakhi Kavsadze ... Mikheil Koresheli
Merab Ninidze ... Tornike
Nino Zakariadze Nino Zakariadze ... Elene Korisheli (as Nino Zaqariadze)
Nano Ochigava Nano Ochigava ... Ketevan as a child
Boris Tsipuria
Akaki Khidasheli
Leo Antadze ... (as Levan Antadze)
Rezo Esadze Rezo Esadze
Mzia Makhviladze Mzia Makhviladze ... (as M. Makhazadze)
Amiran Amiranashvili 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 | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Tengiz Abuladze stated that the idea to this film was based on a real incident (a local dignitary's corpse being exhumed and placed at the family's porch in the western Georgian region of Mingrelia). See more »

Goofs

In the surrealist scene where the painter (Sandro Barateli) and the disgraced official (Mikheil Koresheli) meet and Mikheil explains the absurd charges for which he is being tried, a jet airplane can be heard passing overhead. See more »

Quotes

Ketevan Barateli: I'm telling you that Aravidze will not rest in the ground. As soon as I'm released, I'll dig him up.
Prosecutor: I hope that Ms. Barateli is not the primitive creature that believes it's possible to achieve a moral objective by an immoral act, by insulting a deceased.
Ketevan Barateli: It's possible, because Aravidze is not dead!
Prosecutor: You think... he's alive?
Ketevan Barateli: Yes, he's alive! And as you defend him, he goes on living and corrupting the society.
Prosecutor: Just a minute. Excuse me. So you're asserting that he's alive?
Ketevan Barateli: Yes.
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Soundtracks

Ode to Joy
Composed by Ludwig van Beethoven
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User Reviews

 
Landmark film, but not without flaws
16 April 2014 | by Andy-296See all my reviews

When in Soviet Georgia a woman named Keto is arrested for digging up the remains of Valam, the long time mayor of a small town, she defends herself recalling the terror created by the mayor when she was a child. Valam (played by Avtandil Makharadze) has a Hitler mustache but is clearly based on Lavrenti Beria, who before being head of the Soviet security services, was the top leader in Georgia, and under whose rule the worst part of the great purges happened (Beria was known for its particular cruelty). Keto's father was the painter Sandro Barateli (played by Edisher Giorgiobani, a redhead who looks like Vincent Van Gogh) who was arrested by Valam after he tried to protest the destruction of an ancient church (regarding the name, it might be worth noting that one notable victim of Beria was the theater director Sandro Akhmeteli).

This might be the most anti-communist film ever made in the Soviet Union, though its aesthetics are very much in the Soviet tradition of the Brezhnev era. I might be wrong, but I think this was the first time a Soviet film touched on the issue of the Stalinist "repressions". In a touching moment, Keto declares on the stand that such actions cannot be forgiven (this was filmed during a period in history where the repressions were hardly mentioned at the official press). It's amazing this film was even made. It was released in 1987 to wide acclaim after being shelved for several years. The movie goes beyond criticizing the "excesses" of Stalinism, but goes on to attack the heart of the Soviet system. On the minus side, the movie is sometimes overwrought and has a lot of surreal, bizarre touches, that are not always successful. And at around two hours and a half, the film is also too long, with parts that are a bit of a struggle.


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Details

Official Sites:

Official site [Japan]

Country:

Soviet Union

Language:

Georgian | Russian | Italian | German

Release Date:

18 May 1987 (Denmark) See more »

Also Known As:

Repentance See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$215,496
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (video)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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