In the beautiful, otherworldly Carpathian Mountains a woman is traveling with a small boy in a horse and cart, looking to punish those who once abused her. For years, Katalin has been ...
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In the beautiful, otherworldly Carpathian Mountains a woman is traveling with a small boy in a horse and cart, looking to punish those who once abused her. For years, Katalin has been keeping a terrible secret. Hitchhiking with two men, she was brutally raped in the woods. Although she has kept silent about what happened, she has not forgotten, and her son Órban serves as a living reminder. When her village discovers her secret, Katalin's husband rejects her. With nothing to lose, she is free to seek revenge on the perpetrators. As she puts human faces to horrible acts, she is forced to consider that morality might not be as black and white as she had imagined.Written by
Santa Barbara Intl Film Festival
The film was shot in Romania in July 2006 for around £25,000 with a small crew of 11 people (including transport and catering). Strickland paid everyone on the 17-days-shoot himself, apart from the focus-puller, who agreed to work for free. The whole crew and the actors lived together in an empty house in a small village in the Carpathian Mountains. After the shoot Strickland ran out of money while editing. He approached many UK production companies, but the reaction was always negative because an obscure film by an unknown director, not even in the English language, seemed to put off all UK investors. Only two Romanian producers, Oana Giurgiu and Tudor Giurgiu, paid attention. They saw Strickland's rough cut and came on board as co-producers, providing the funds to make a proper sound-mix and a blow-up from the Super-16mm negatives to 35mm. It was then invited and shown in competition at the '59th Berlin International Film Festival' in 2009 and won the 'Outstanding Artistic Contribution' award for the creative sound design. Without the Romanian producers, the film would never have been properly finished. See more »
The beautiful Transylvanian countryside, where a thin veil of modernity covers a continuing peasant lifestyle for many, is the setting for Peter Strickland's short, unsentimental film 'Katalin Varga' about the aftermath of a rape. It's a quiet movie, strikingly shot, that offers no pretence of life easier than it actually is. To me, it seemed that the reaction of the perpetrator's wife seemed simultaneously slightly overdone (in terms of motivation) and underplayed; one might also suggest that the ending is not especially satisfying, probably because the film never lets us know exactly what it is that Katalin is hoping for. This can be justified, however, because it's completely plausible that the character doesn't know herself. In a nutshell, this is a revenge movie; but so much more interesting that most of what we see in this genre.
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