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Katalin Varga (2009)

2:02 | Trailer
In the beautiful, otherworldly Carpathian Mountains a woman is traveling with a small boy in a horse and cart, looking to punish those who once abused her. For years, Katalin has been ... See full summary »


Peter Strickland


Peter Strickland (screenplay)
13 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview:
Hilda Péter ... Katalin Varga
Norbert Tankó Norbert Tankó ... Orbán Varga
László Mátray László Mátray ... Zsigmond Varga
Roberto Giacomello ... Gergely
Tibor Pálffy Tibor Pálffy ... Antal Borlan (as Tibor Pálfy)
Melinda Kántor Melinda Kántor ... Etelka Borlan
Sebastian Marina Sebastian Marina ... Gergely's Brother-in-Law
Attila Kozma Attila Kozma ... Accomplice
Enikö Szabó Enikö Szabó ... Zsuzsa
Zsolt Páll Zsolt Páll ... Poultry Man
Florin Vidamski Florin Vidamski ... Husband
Fatma Mohamed Fatma Mohamed ... Wife
Andrea Gavriliu Andrea Gavriliu ... LA Girl
Raluca Sava Raluca Sava ... Sunflower
Szilvia Majláth Szilvia Majláth ... Singing Girl


In the beautiful, otherworldly Carpathian Mountains a woman is traveling with a small boy in a horse and cart, looking to punish those who once abused her. For years, Katalin has been keeping a terrible secret. Hitchhiking with two men, she was brutally raped in the woods. Although she has kept silent about what happened, she has not forgotten, and her son Órban serves as a living reminder. When her village discovers her secret, Katalin's husband rejects her. With nothing to lose, she is free to seek revenge on the perpetrators. As she puts human faces to horrible acts, she is forced to consider that morality might not be as black and white as she had imagined. Written by Santa Barbara Intl Film Festival

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Thriller


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Parents Guide:

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Official Sites:

Official site [France]


Romania | UK


Hungarian | Romanian

Release Date:

9 October 2009 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Каталин Варга See more »

Filming Locations:

Transylvania, Romania See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby SR



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The film was shot in Romania in July 2006 for around £25,000 with a small crew of 11 people (including transport and catering). Strickland paid everyone on the 17-days-shoot himself, apart from the focus-puller, who agreed to work for free. The whole crew and the actors lived together in an empty house in a small village in the Carpathian Mountains. After the shoot Strickland ran out of money while editing. He approached many UK production companies, but the reaction was always negative because an obscure film by an unknown director, not even in the English language, seemed to put off all UK investors. Only two Romanian producers, Oana Giurgiu and Tudor Giurgiu, paid attention. They saw Strickland's rough cut and came on board as co-producers, providing the funds to make a proper sound-mix and a blow-up from the Super-16mm negatives to 35mm. It was then invited and shown in competition at the '59th Berlin International Film Festival' in 2009 and won the 'Outstanding Artistic Contribution' award for the creative sound design. Without the Romanian producers, the film would never have been properly finished. See more »


The Schmurz (Unsullied by Suckling)
  • excerpt taken from "Homotopy to Marie"

Written and performed by Nurse with Wound
See more »

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User Reviews

Almost a masterpiece, but...
22 November 2013 | by andreeeeiSee all my reviews

I borrowed the DVD from a local store, being sure that this is going to be a good movie. I read good reviews of it. Now I'm quite disappointed after seeing it. The movie is good enough until the scene where the woman is telling her rape experience finishes. The story of the rape is the best part. As the camera focused on the characters' faces, Katalin tells her horrific story, disconnected from the suffering that we would expect. That gives the character a lot of power. She is in a position of control, she overcame the bad experience and her main weapon is the truth, because the truth will really ruin the precious relationship of Katalin's aggressor with his wife. The story of the rape is told in such intimate detail, that you may feel various emotions, like empathy, justice being done, concern for any of the characters, each of them may be in a dangerous position. The situation is very much like one from Sadoveanu's novel "Baltagul". After this wonderful artistic moment, the rest of the movie is full of broken links. The man's regret for what he has done is very unrealistic, not that this might not happen in real life, but his state is not supported by the play and the character's story. Then, the suffering for the loss of his wife is too short. The wife, a devoted Christian, commits suicide (that's possible, but not very probable) without many explanations given to us. The man suffers too little after that because he is quite preoccupied with his relation with Katalin and her son. Many other disharmonious details disconnected me from the movie. I also have some personal regrets, that the Romanians in the movie are all mean characters. There's no obvious reason in a movie where 99 percent of the time you have Hungarian language speaking, only three short but significant dialogues are in Romanian. In one of them we have the girls eating sunflower seeds that are not helping the strangers in need without judging or mocking them. Eating sunflowers in public in Romania is associated with low class, specially because it's a Balkan habit mostly associated with gypsies. Speaking of gypsies, I can not get over the idea that the first victim of Katalin is associated with Gypsies and undoubtedly this is part of the construction of an evil character. The other two scenes with Romanians are the ones involving the vengeful criminals, one of them showing a twisted faith in God. Anyway, it could have been a good movie, but amateurish errors and a bit of xenophobia (I suppose) ruined it for me. I may keep in mind as good parts: landscapes, music and the boat scene.

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