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.
Source: 69. Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin (Catalogue)