Werckmeister Harmonies

Werckmeister harmóniák
Director: Béla Tarr

Hungary, Italy, Germany, France, drama, 145 min., 2000, lithuanian and english subtitles
This story takes place in a small town on the Hungarian Plain which is surrounded by nothing but frost. It is twenty degrees below zero, but even in this cold hundreds of people are standing around the circus tent to see the attraction – the stuffed carcass of a real whale. The people are coming from everywhere. From the neighbouring settlements, from different holes of the Plain, even from quite far away parts of the country. They are following this clumsy monster as a dumb, faceless crowd. This strange state of affairs – the appearance of the foreigners, the extreme frost – disturbs the order of the small town...
In this haunting, poetic film Béla Tarr meditates on mankind’s place in the cosmos, the wonders of God and the timeless immanence of evil and irrationality. “Werckmeister Harmonies” is minimalist masterpiece, painting an existentially desperate picture of Hungary.

2000 – Prix Cinédécouvertes at the L’Age d’Or International Film Festival in Brussels, Belgium.
2001 – “Berliner Zeitung” Readers’ Prize for the Best Film of the Forum programme section at the Berlin International Film Festival, Germany.
2001 – Main Prize and Gene Moskowitz Prize at the Budapest Hungarian Film Week.
2001 – FIPRESCI Prize at the Sofia International Film Festival, Bulgaria.

Section: Béla Tarr film retrospective

Screenplay: Béla Tarr, László Krasznahorkai

Dir. of Photography: Gábor Medvigy

Music: Mihály Víg

Cast: Djoko Rosić, Ferenc Kállai, János Derzsi, Hanna Schygulla, Peter Fitz, Lars Rudolph, Tamás Wichmann