Berlinale: Programme

Film File




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The final inhabitants of an abandoned settlement set off, fleeing their miserable existence by following the promises of a false prophet named Irimias. Béla Tarr uses endless, dimly lit tracking shots to describe his protagonists’ hopeless attitude toward life. The film contains sequences that become indelibly inscribed in the memory, such as the opening scene of cows leaving their shed and crossing a muddy plain. Sátántangó is a meditation on time, but also a parable on the decline of humankind and a symbol for the cosmos and the human condition. The film stands out in the oeuvre of Béla Tarr through its formal severity, its atmospheric expressiveness, and its unusual narrative style that works based on leitmotifs, grabbing the audience and never letting them go again for more than seven hours. Sátántangó is a monument of contemporary cinema, even of all film history.
Premiering in 1994, the film became a milestone in the history of the Forum. After 25 years, it now returns to screens in a digitally restored version.

Béla Tarr

Hungary / Switzerland / Germany 1994


450’ · Black/White


Mihály Vig (Irimiás)
István Horváth (Petrina)
Erika Bók (Estike)
Peter Berling (Doctor)
Miklós B. Székely (Futaki)
Lászlo Fe Lugossy (Mr. Schmidt)
Èva Almási Albert (Mrs. Schmidt)
Alfréd Járay (Mr. Halics)
Erzsébet Gaál (Mrs. Halics)
János Derzsi (Mr. Kráner)
Irén Szajki (Mrs. Kráner)


Béla Tarr
László Krasznahorkai
Director of Photography
Gabor Medvigy
Agnes Hranitzky
Mihály Vig
Digital restoration
Arbelos Film Distribution & Digital Film Restoration
Hungarian Filmlab


Béla Tarr

Born in Pécs, Hungary in 1955. He started studying at the Film and Television Academy in Budapest, after having completed his first feature-length film, Csaladi tüzfészek. In 1981, he was one of the founders of Társulás Filmstúdió. Since its closure in 1985, he has worked as an independent filmmaker. In 2013, he founded the film school film.factory at the Sarajevo School for Science and Technology (SSST).


1977 Családi tüzfészek (Family Nest / Familiennest); 108 min. 1978 Hotel Magnezit 1980 Szabadgyalog (The Outsider / Der Außenseiter); 134 min. 1982 Panelkapcsolat (The Prefab People / Betonbeziehungen); 102 min. · Macbeth; 62 min. 1985 Öszi almanach (Almanac of Fall / Herbstalmanach); 119 min. 1988 Kárhozat (Damnation / Verdammnis); 120 min., Forum 1988 1990 Utolsó hajó (The Last Boat / Das letzte Schiff); 31 min., episode for the omnibus film City Life, Forum 1990 1994 Sátántangó; 450 min., Forum 1994 1995 Utazás az alföldön (Journey on the Plain / Reise in der Tiefebene); 35 min., Forum 1996 2001 Werckmeister Harmóniák (Werckmeister Harmonies / Die Werckmeisterschen Harmonien); 145 min., Forum 2001 2007 A londoni férfi (The Man from London / Der Mann aus London); 139 min. 2011 A torinói ló (The Turin Horse / Das Turiner Pferd); 146 min., Competition 2011

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2019

Produced by

Mozgökep Tärsuläs es Alapitväny

Von Vietinghoff Filmproduktion

Vega Film AG

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