Satantango

Satantango ★★★★★

*1000th diary entry on Letterboxd*

In one of the most haunting segments of this monumental piece of art, a little girl is convinced by her brother that money grows on trees, to steal from her. The same girl, who has absolutely no control over any aspect of her life, plays God with her cat, out of sheer desperation for the slightest illusion of power. That doesn't last for long and she inevitably comes back to the hellish reality where her cries for help are ignored. On some level, the very essence of Tarr's achingly gorgeous and endlessly melancholic tone poem is condensed in that segment alone.

In Satantango, based on the Hungarian novel of the same name, people of a small village are easily manipulated by a smooth-talking prophet who promises them an escape from their sad reality. The spiritual and capitalistic connotations of the hopeless apocalyptic world that Tarr paints on screen, are inextricably linked. As they drink and dance away their pain, as they indulge in greed, lust, and selfishness, as they helplessly await the impending judgement day, time weaves an invisible web to prey on them. As they obliviously tangoed around in the rain to Satan's tune, the closing bells started to ring. Darkness followed.


One of the greatest pieces of art ever concieved by mankind.

Ashwin liked these reviews