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770 Ratings



Directed by Tengiz Abuladze
Soviet Union, 1984
Comedy, Drama


Varlam Aravidze is the authoritarian, Stalin-like mayor of a Georgian town. In the days following his funeral, the grave keeps being mysteriously robbed and his corpse appearing in the most unusual places. Eventually, the police arrest a local individual who is believed to be the direct responsible.

Our take

Banned in 1984, briefly unbanned in 1987, then swiftly banned again in 1988, this controversial final film from Tengiz Abuladze, one of the greatest Soviet directors, is a frequently funny allegory on Russian dictatorship. Winner of three prizes at the 1987 Cannes Film Festival.

Repentance Directed by Tengiz Abuladze

Awards & Festivals

Cannes Film Festival

1987 | 3 wins including: FIPRESCI Prize

Golden Globes (USA)

1988 | Nominee: Best Foreign Language Film

Chicago International Film Festival

1987 | 2 wins including: Best Actor (Silver Hugo)

Critics reviews

Starting as surrealist farce, Repentance evolves into a courtroom drama, political chronicle, and Oedipal crucible. What the movie occasionally lacks in stylistic refinement, it more than compensates in rhetorical daring and novelistic depth.
September 28, 2018
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In contrast to the dull deliberations that dog Colors at every turn… Repentance is a veritable trip through Disneyland. It is even—dare I say this, when Dennis Hopper is concerned?—a hipper, more psychedelic, and funnier movie than Colors. I won’t deny that it gets difficult and/or dull in a few spots, but there are not very many of them. Above all, Repentance offers its audience an intellectual and emotional adventure, and treats it like an equal in this undertaking.
May 06, 1988
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