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Katalin Varga
dir. Peter Strickland / Romania, UK, Hungary 2009 / 82’
subtitles: Polish and English
Panorama

Cast

Hilda Péter, Norbert Tankó, Tibor Pálfy, Melinda Kántor, László Matray, Roberto Giacomello, Sebastian Marina

Film description

No poison is worse than a snake's venom and no anger is worse than a woman's fury. Katalin Varga knows that revenge is best if it is planned in cold blood. When her husband learns that he is not the biological father of their son Orbán, he drives the bastard and his mother away. Katalin starts on a journey across the endless Transylvania to find the rapists who marked her life with suffering ten years before. This fascinating eclectic story blends influences of various genres: thriller, folk ballad and silent psychodrama. The director, a fully-fledged Brit, jumped into the deep waters and he did not drown. He managed to create a colourful landscape of foreign cultures (the film is set in the Hungarian-speaking area of Romania) and to offer a reliable portrait of a woman tortured by internal conflict. He leads Katalin to the dramatic finale without great theatrical emphasis. He does not stigmatise her bestially cruel deed or her revenge. He does not moralise. He leaves the most important things unsaid.

Michał Walkiewicz

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