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.


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?


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 »


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 »


Varlam Aravidze: You will grind to dust anyone who stands in your way. If you're struck on one cheek, you won't turn the other one, you'll strike back so hard that the other's neck is broken. Your kind is not capable of splitting! You don't give a damn about good and evil. It's not splitting you're worried about, it's fear that's killing you!
Abel Aravidze as an adult: What fear?
Varlam Aravidze: You fear yourself. All your life you've been after prestige, proud of your model family, and, suddenly, your world is collapsing.
Abel Aravidze as an adult: No!
Varlam Aravidze: Yes. Your father is thrown out...
See more »


by Georgian Folk Song
See more »

User Reviews

It takes a very careful watching to truly understand all of the symbols of the film.
19 January 2014 | by pgma14-901-604053See all my reviews

This film was absolute genius and, in my opinion, one of the best films produced in the 20th century. It is on par with films like the Seventh Seal and Schindler's List in terms of symbolism and philosophy. The only way one can not like this film is if one does not understand it- which is quite possible, if one is only haphazardly watching it and is not fully engaged, or is expecting the film to chew up the messages for you and give you something simple you can quickly take away without actually appreciating the movie- then this is the wrong film for you. In order to properly appreciate this film you have to engage in higher philosophical thought and reflect both on the lives of individuals of the Stalinist era as well as your own era, since this movie is timeless. It explores human nature at its basest level, and what causes humans to act in the ways they do.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 30 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.


Official Sites:

Official site [Japan]


Soviet Union


Georgian | Russian | Italian | German

Release Date:

18 May 1987 (Denmark) See more »

Also Known As:

Repentance See more »


Box Office

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (video)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed