|This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the Georgian Wikipedia. (May 2013)|
|Directed by||Tengiz Abuladze|
|Distributed by||Cannon Film (US theatrical)
|Release date(s)||4 December 1987 (US limited)|
|Running time||153 minutes|
|Country||Soviet Union (Georgian SSR)|
Repentance (Georgian: მონანიება, Monanieba, Russian: Покаяние, Pokayaniye) is a Georgian film directed by Tengiz Abuladze. The movie was made in 1984, but its release was banned in the Soviet Union for its semi-allegorical critique of Stalinism. It premiered at the 1987 Cannes Film Festival, winning the FIPRESCI Prize, Grand Prize of the Jury, and the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury.
Repentance is set in a small Georgian town. The film starts with the scene of a woman preparing cakes. A man in a chair is reading from a newspaper that the town's mayor, Varlam Aravidze (Avtandil Makharadze) has died. One day after the funeral the corpse of the mayor turns up in the garden of his son's house. The corpse is reburied, only to reappear again in the garden. A woman, Ketevan Barateli (Zeinab Botsvadze), is eventually arrested and accused of digging up the corpse. She defends herself and states that Varlam does not deserve to be buried as he was responsible for a Stalin-like regime of terror responsible for the disappearance of her parents and her friends. She is put on trial and gives her testimony, with the story of Varlam's regime being told in flashbacks.
During the trial, whereas Varlam's son Abel (Avtandil Makharadze) denies any wrongdoings by his father and his lawyer tries to get Ketevan declared insane. Varlam's grandson Tornike (Merab Ninidze) is shocked by the revelations about the crimes of his grandfather. He ultimately commits suicide. Abel himself then throws Varlam's corpse off a cliff on the outskirts of the town.
At the end the film returns to the scene of the woman preparing a cake. An old woman is asking her at the window whether this is the road that leads to the temple. The woman replies that the road is Varlam street and will not lead to the temple. The old woman replies: "What good is a road if it doesn't lead to a temple?".
Abuladze cast several of his family members in leading roles in the film.
- Avtandil Makharadze as Varlam Aravidze and as middle-aged Abel Aravidze
- Dato Kemkhadze as young Abel Aravidze, son of Varlam Aravidze
- Ia Ninidze as Guliko, Abel's wife
- Zeinab Botsvadze as Ketevan Barateli
- Ketevan Abuladze as Nino Barateli
- Edisher Giorgobiani as Sandro Barateli
- Kakhi Kavsadze as Mikheil Koresheli
- Merab Ninidze as Tornike, Abel's and Guliko's son
- Nino Zaqariadze as Elene Korisheli
- Nano Ochigava as Ketevan as a child
- Boris Tsipuria
- Akaki Khidasheli
- Leo Antadze as Levan Antadze
- Rezo Esadze
- Mzia Makhviladze as M. Makhazadze
- Amiran Amiranashvili
Tengiz Abuladze started to think about the film in the early 1970s. A near-fatal car accident in the early 1980s then convinced Abuladze to start shooting the film. He was encouraged by Eduard Shevardnadze who at that time was the first secretary of the Georgian Communist Party and who offered a special and uncensored slot on Georgian television for the film. During the shooting of the film the actor Georgi Kobakhidze was arrested for being involved in the hijacking of Aeroflot Flight 6833. Production was temporarily halted, and was resumed several months later with Merab Ninidze replacing Kobakhidze.
When the film was finished in 1984 it was screened once and then shelved for three years. In 1987, with the new political climate initiated by Mikhail Gorbachev the film was released again all over the Soviet Union and at film festival in Western countries. Abuladze was awarded the Order of Lenin and he accompanied Gorbachev on his first official visit in New York in 1988.
In West Germany Repentance was broadcasted by ZDF on 13 October 1987. The broadcast was received and widely seen in East Germany where the film was banned. East German television viewers reacted strongly as they saw parallels to their own regime. This reaction forced East German authorities and the East German press to react. Harald Wessel, second editor in chief of Neues Deutschland and the editor in chief of the Junge Welt, Hans-Dieter Schütt published editorials in their newspapers that tried to both denounce the film and to avoid anti-Soviet undertones. The situation was complicated by the fact that the editorials were for a film that was banned and should theoretically be unknown to East German readers.
|45th Golden Globe Awards||Best Foreign Language Film||Nominated|
|1987 Cannes Film Festival||Grand Prize of the Jury||Tengiz Abuladze||Won|
|FIPRESCI Prize||Tengiz Abuladze||Won|
|Prize of the Ecumenical Jury||Tengiz Abuladze||Won|
|Golden Palm||Tengiz Abuladze||Nominated|
|1987 Chicago International Film Festival||Best Actor||Avtandil Makharadze||Won|
|Nika Awards||Best Actor||Avtandil Makharadze||Won|
|Best Cinematographer||Mikhail Agranovich||Won|
|Best Director||Tengiz Abuladze||Won|
|Best Film||Tengiz Abuladze||Won|
|Best Production Designer||Giorgi Miqeladze||Won|
|Best Screenplay||Tengiz Abuladze, Nana Janelidze, Rezo Kveselava||Won|
- "Festival de Cannes: Repentance". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 2009-07-19.
- Christensen, Julie. "Tengiz Abuladze's Repentance and the Georgian Nationalist Cause". Slavic Review 50 (1): 163–175.
- Kowalczuk, Ilko-Sascha (August 2009). Endspiel: die Revolution von 1989 in der DDR (in German). C.H. Beck. pp. 73–74. ISBN 978-3-406-58357-5.
- Denise Jeanne Youngblood and Josephine Woll (2001), Repentance. I.B.Tauris, ISBN 1-86064-395-7.
- Julie Christensen, Tengiz Abuladze's Repentance and the Georgian Nationalist Cause, Slavic Review, Vol. 50, No 1 (Spring 1991), pp. 163–175