Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Avtandil Makharadze, Ya Ninidze, Zeinab Botsvadze, Ketevan Abuladze, Edisher Giorgobiani
Director: Tengiz Abuladze
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Three generations of one family pay for the sins of their fathers under the dictatorial rule of Varlam Aravidze, who runs a totalitarian society in which the first to perish are the artists. Years later, the daughter of on... more »
Haunting, harrowing, intellectual, visual masterwork.
ADK | Royal Oak, Mi. United States | 10/07/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
I First learned of this film as an accidental find at the local video rental shop in the foriegn film section. Now it's a top ten favorite film of mine for several reasons.
Stealthily made for Georgian/Russian television under Soviet era rule, it was "shelved" until 1986 when glasnost allowed it's release, just a couple of years prior to the breakup of the Soviet Union. Anyway, here it's shown in Fullscreen presentation as it was made, hence there is no such thing as a Widescreen version.
Running time is complete (unedited) at about 154 minutes.
Repentance is a story within a story(three generations) which is also book-ended by a main charachter's brief musings leaving the viewer to wonder was this a momentary daydream or did all this actually happen? This does not give away the story or any suspense whatsoever.
Because of the multi-layered story, multiple charachters and involved plot most viewers including Georgian/Russian literates will be a bit lost on first viewing. So far I've watched it perhaps 9 or 10 times over the last decade and I'm still unraveling much of the story, charachters and dialogue. Now that I have it on DVD it will be viewed and disected over and over.
It's a complicated blend of social commentary, political nightmare, spiritual awareness, family disintegration, artistic/human freedom, surrealism, and even brief moments of (black)comedy.
The film's overall flow is like a dark drama and part Euro artfilm perhaps due to the surreal scenes and the unrushed filming/editing. This is not Hollywood product!
There's realy little or no "action" per se, and despite there being no blatant visual violence (or sex) I always leave this film as though I've lived through a mass of brutality and executions. Repentance carries some obvious political messages but it really asks the viewer to draw thier own conclusions and to think for thyself!
The RUSCICO DVD version is an excellent package. The colors and quality are as good as the origial film will allow. There are several excellent and revelant extras as well as subtitles for nearly any language known to man.
Unfortunatly it was never released in it's original Georgian soundtrack. All three languages here are dubbed. The Georgian soundtrack is actualy the original Russian dub with a Georgian translator reading over that.
I watch it with english subtitles while listening to the original release Russian dub.
For a dollar more than the domestic release I bought the "Pokaianie" version which is region-free and has the Russian printed cover. I suspect other that these two things it is identical to the "Repentance" region 1 version.
For the real diehard enthusists there is a companion book in the "Film Companion " series which is a study guide/scene disection but it's not really a revealing or behind the scenes reader.
A fantastic, dark and thoughtful film that is as relevant and timeless as the viewer allows or chooses it to be.
Magnificent and moving
stavrogin | USA | 05/01/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie came to be known as a masterpiece of perestroika, though Gorbachev was totally unaware of the director and his work. Many scenes and references do require some knowledge of the history of the Soviet Union and the execrable crimes of the Communist regime.The demolition of a church parallels the Bolshevik demolition of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior,which was rebuilt after the fall of the Soviet Union.
The scene in which relatives of prisoners desperately seek for messages written on logs from the timber camps is truly amazing.The lead actor's role as a sort of Hitler-Beria combination is mesmeric in quality.One of the great features at the end is the old woman who asks the question, " What good is a road if it doesn't lead to a church?" The actress in question had played in many Stalin era films and her cameo is in itself a sort of repentance.
I cannot recommend it enough."
A brilliant and mindboggling film.
Dhaval Vyas | Dallastown, PA U.S.A | 12/10/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This hard to find film called 'Repentance' is one of the most mindboggling and brilliant films I have ever seen. Right now I cannot write an in depth review about it because I am busy with other things. But, if one can find this film, buy it because it is not that easy to find. You will get your money's worth. The main actor in this film gives one of the most awesome performances I have seen."