31 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.


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




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


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




PG | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Movie was ready for release in 1984, but it was banned until 1987 (premiere in Cannes). See more »


After Varlam's corpse has been reburied the second time, an iron cage is placed over his grave to protect it from further intrusion. But as the perpetrator starts to exhume him for the third time, there is no cage. See more »


Varlam Aravidze: Confucius said: "The hardest thing of all is to find a black cat in a dark room, especially if there is no cat." We will catch the black cat in the dark room, even if there is no cat
See more »


Wedding March
Composed by Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy
See more »

User Reviews

Dated maybe but still masterpiece maybe
23 May 2004 | by jerzymSee all my reviews

For the first time I've seen this movie in 1988 under, rotting and toothless, but still red regime in little movie in Bytom, Poland. Without subtitles but only with man reading the dialogs from the book. Atmosphere was tensed and with the taste of conspiracy. This time Pokajanije was for me thrilling experience with breathtaking performance of Macharadze and Ninidze. Once again I watched it in TV few years later and I've found a little dated and emasculated in uncovering communist's crimes. But still it was great cinematic, beautifully filmed experience. Now, I've ordered DVD in dvdplanet (it's still unavailable in Poland) and I'm really curious for my nowadays impression.

25 dec 2004

Today I've watched the movie once again after the reading of Montefiore's book "Stalin - the court of the Red Tsar. In this book I've found the story of Kawtaradze family. Sergo Kawtaradze, old revolutionist and comrade of Stalin during the great purge, in 1936 was arrested with his wife Sofia. Both were cruelly tortured in Lubianka. Daughter Maya, 11 years old, wrote many letters to Stalin, begging for the parents' life. After 3 years of imprisonment Kawtaradzes were freed but still in danger of arresting again. Few weeks later suddenly at 6 AM Stalin & Beria came to Kawtaradzes. Stalin kindly spoke with daughter Maya. In her memories she wrote that he was charming and kind. He also sang a song with "pleasant tenor". They also ate dinner (Stalin ordered it in the best georgian restaurant in Moscow, Aragwi. I'm sure that episode in the movie when Warlam and Doxopulo visits Sandro's home is loosely based on this event

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Release Date:

18 May 1987 (Denmark) See more »

Also Known As:

Repentance See more »


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1.37 : 1
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