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Katalin Varga

Peter Strickland
Romania, UK, Hungary 2009 / 82’

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

Peter Strickland

Born in Reading in 1973. In 1992 he adapted Kafka's Metamorphosis for an amateur theatre group. He has made numerous short films and was a guest at the Berlinale in 1997 with his film Bubblegum. In 1996 he and some friends founded an art project, The Sonic Catering Band, blending electronic music with cuisine. Katalin Varga is his first feature film.

Selected filmography:

1992 Rising Within the Realms of Sleep (short)

1993 Between God and Inspiration Lie Heaven and Hell (short)

1994 Relapse (short)

1994 Fallout (short)

1996 Bubblegum (short)

2009 Katalin Varga

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