Satantango

Satantango ★★★★★

may contain light spoilers

the first time i heard about Satantango, i laughed as i said "i could never watch a 7 hours long film, i couldn't bear it". after many months, i decided i had to give it a try. "just a try, i probably won't even finish it": i really thought so. but, it took me just a few minutes to get into it - yes, it already gave me chills at the cows scene -, and i quickly got so involved that i almost found it gripping. now, i wouldn't describe Tarr's cinematography as captivating, but it surely is immersive, and Satantango really, really captures you.

this is my second Béla Tarr movie: i wanted to watch something else before this 7-hours-long delirium, in order to get more used to Tarr's difficult style. i was too curious, though: it runs for seven hours, what will it show? since The Turin Horse is one of my favourite films, i couldn't stop myself from watching this. thank god, i don't regret it, because Satantango too has become one of my all-time faves, and i actually think it's a masterpiece and one of the greatest movies ever made.

it's not only a great film, but it's a wonderful experience: you need to feel it, rather than just watch.

i said that i found Satantango "gripping": the first 4 hours are so. they're an escalation of anxiety, anticipation, suspense: the watcher knows something is going to happen, a mysterious character is coming back, and you kinda hope that this will change the characters' lives, which appear to be sad, monotonous, empty. the very long shots increase the suspense, and they're never out of place, never boring.

but then, the fifth chapter comes. all your hopes are dashed. béla tarr's message is clear: no one can save themself. no one can be saved. the torture of a cat and the suicide of an innocent child, maybe the only one who's still pure in a corrupted world, make you realize that the humanity is, in fact, dead.

i think it's safe to say that the fifth chapter, the death of the cat and of the little girl, is one of the most beautiful and heartbreaking things i've ever seen. it made me feel so bad, it gave me literal nightmares, but it was SO powerful, i don't think i will ever forget it.

after that, it's all downhill: the viewer has given up, they have no more hopes, and feel discomfort, uneasiness; it becomes really depressing, melancholic, sad. according to a nihilistic view: nothing makes sense, nobody can be saved, we're just living because we were born, there is no purpose in life; we cherish hopes, but eventually we'll be disappointed.

a deep emotional bond is created between the watcher and the characters: but, you won't like them cause they're interesting or cool, but because they represent the humankind and its tragic destiny, its emptiness, which is common to everyone.
the watcher is omniscient, and knows how pitiful their destinies are going to be, but still feels involved into the story: it's like they're near the characters, they're living the same events, they're feeling the same things.

this film is long, it's slow, but it's NEVER boring. it stimulates your mind, it makes you think, and it surely lives into your mind for a long time.


this is a masterpiece. béla tarr is so unique. and i know very well he isn't simple to handle, but.. if you're reading: give it a try, maybe. trust me.
take your time and, when you'll be ready, try watching this.
you'll live a beautiful, touching, powerful experience, you won't ever regret it.

5/5
(i usually don't write long reviews, this is my first one: i NEEDED to write my thoughts because this film has touched me so deeply, words won't do it justice)

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