Satan's tango

Director: Béla Tarr

Hungary, Germany, Switzerland, comedy, drama, 1994 m., 435 min.
Unnamed characters of the story live in an abandoned agricultural machinery plant. They have lost all the values that could help them give reason for their existence. There is only one desire that can break them free from this feeling of annihilation – the desire to escape. Each one of them tries to create their petty plans to get out but their fatal lack of self-confidence makes them incapable of fulfilling the plans. What they are all really waiting for is a Messiah who would not only absolve them from their sins, but would lead them out of their miserable everyday life and save them from this pouring sea of mud that engulfs everything. Their wait is not in vain... “Satantango” is a fascinating seven-hour black comedy, about the last gasps of Communism in Hungary. 


1994 – Caligari Prize at the Berlin International Film Festival, Forum of New Cinema (Germany).
1994 – Age d’Or at the Brussels International Film Festival (Belgium).
1994 – Special Prize at the Budapest Hungarian Film Week (Hungary).

About the director:

Béla Tarr was born in 1955, in Hungary. He was involved in the film kitchen from childhood as an actor and planned to be a philosopher – cinema had to remain a hobby only. His amateur work brought him to the attention of the Bela Balazs Studios (named in honour of the Hungarian cinema theorist), which helped fund Tarr's 1979 feature debut “Family Nest” (Családi tuzfészek), a film influenced by the work of John Cassavettes. Everything changed after his first movie, which already argued for the great strengths of this creator: the ability to show bare social issues and derive philosophical problems through the everyday lives of ordinary people. “The Prefab People” (Panelkapcsola, 1982) continued in much the same vein, but with a 1982 television adaptation of “Macbeth”, his work began to change dramatically; comprised of only two shots, the first shot (before the main title) was five minutes long, with the second 67 minutes in length. Not only did Tarr's visual sensibility move from raw close-ups to more abstract mediums and long takes, but also his philosophical sensibility shifted from grim realism to a more metaphysical outlook similar to that of Andrei Tarkovsky. The idiosyncratic film manner, meditative storytelling and unique cinematography quickly gained recognition all over the world. The audience of the Kaunas International Film Festival knows B. Tarr from his film retrospective in 2010.
Section: Wide Angle

Screenplay: László Krasznahorkai, Béla Tarr

Dir. of Photography: Gábor Medvigy

Music: Mihály Vig

Cast: Mihály Víg, Putyi Horváth Dr., Peter Berling, Barna Mihók, Éva Almási Albert, Alfréd Járai, Erika Bók, Miklós Székely B., János Derzsi, László feLugossy, Erzsébet Gaál, Irén Szajki