8.4/10
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29 user 7 critic

Repentance (1984)

Monanieba (original title)
PG | | Comedy, Drama | 18 May 1987 (Denmark)
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 ... See full summary »

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 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 | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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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

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (video)

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Official submission of Soviet Union for the 'Best Foreign Language Film' category of the 60th Academy Awards in 1988. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Abel Aravidze as an adult: Varlam was always guided by the interests of society. But sometimes he had to act against his will.
Tornike: And if he were ordered to destroy the world, would he have done it?
Abel Aravidze as an adult: You know what? Your grandfather never killed anyone with his own hands! And you did fire at a human being! What kind of morals you're talking of?
Tornike: I didn't know who I was firing at.
Abel Aravidze as an adult: What difference does it make? You did fire at a human!
Tornike: Yes, I did... And it makes our guilt even worse.
Abel Aravidze as an adult: Whose guilt?
Tornike: Grandfather's, mine, and yours.
Abel Aravidze as an adult: ...
[...]
See more »


Soundtracks

Sabre Dance
Composed by Aram Khachaturyan
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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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