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.
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Varlam Aravidze's appearance is made of a mix of different despots: Beria (pince-nez glasses), Stalin (haircut), Hitler (moustache), Mussolini (dark shirt, braces). 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 »
Abel Aravidze as an adult:
May your name be cursed... as your life and deeds, Abel Aravidze! What have you done!Monster! May your blood... turn to water... and your bread... to dust! May your flesh... burn in Hell's fire... and not be honored... like your father... with an earthly burial! Why were you born... devil incarnate... Abel Aravidze? And why was your father born? And your son? It's grown so dark, it's pitch dark! Oh G-d, all this is so senseless!
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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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