Werckmeister Harmonies (2001)

Werckmeister Harmonies



Critic Consensus: Mesmerizingly lovely and thematically thought-provoking, Werckmeister Harmonies adds another indelible achievement to Bela Tarr's fascinating filmography.

Movie Info

Bela Tarr follows up on his seven-hour epic Satantango, considered by some critics as one of the finest films of the 1990s, with this elegant, haunting work about the cycles of violence that have dogged Eastern European history. Jancos (Lars Rudolph) is a wide-eyed innocent who works as an occasional postal worker and as a caretaker for Mr. Ezster (Peter Fitz). An outsider and a visionary, he marvels at the miracles of creation, from the planets rotating in the heavens to the sundry animals on … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Horror, Art House & International
Directed By: ,
Written By: Péter Dobai, Bela Tarr, László Krasznahorkai
In Theaters:
On DVD: Feb 28, 2006



as János Valuska

as György Eszter

as Tünde Eszter

as man in broad-cloth c...

as man in Western boots

as man in the sailor-ca...

as Mrs. Harrer

as Lajos Harrer

as Mr. Nabadán

as Mr. Volent

as Mr. Árgyelán

as chief constable

as housepainter

as Mr. Hagelmayer

as coachman

as Mr. Mádai

as man in fur-cap

as man beside the man i...

as The Prince

as voice of János Valus...

as Gyorgy Eszter (Voice...

as Tunde Eszter (Voice)

as The Prince (Voice)
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Werckmeister Harmonies

All Critics (39) | Top Critics (11)

As wearying as the film becomes in its long, bleak sequences, its uniquely cinematic and emotion-charged experience makes the effort worthwhile.

Full Review… | May 21, 2014
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Six years after the 7-1/2-hour Satan's Tango, Magyar maverick Bela Tarr makes a stunning feature return with "Werckmeister Harmonies," another hypnotic meditation on popular demagogy and mental manipulation that's a snap at 145 minutes.

Full Review… | October 5, 2007
Top Critic

Bela Tarr's style seems to be an attempt to regard his characters with great intensity and respect, to observe them without jostling them, to follow unobtrusively as they move through their worlds, which look so ordinary and are so awesome, like ours.

Full Review… | September 14, 2007
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

A chilling, mesmerizing, intense account of ethnic cleansing (in spirit if not in letter) from Hungarian master Bela Tarr.

Full Review… | September 14, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Over two hours and 20 minutes, not much actually happens, and Tarr creates a mood so lulling that even the rare scenes of dialogue can be hard to follow. But Werckmeister's standout moments are searing like few others in film history.

Full Review… | March 11, 2006
AV Club
Top Critic

Weird, wonderful, witty and unsettling.

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Werckmeister Harmonies


Fantastic begining, great ending & interesting thought-provoking concept, but overlong movie with overlong sequences

Arash Xak

Super Reviewer

You Europeans can pretend to like this shit all you want but you are not fooling me, no sir.

Drew Smith

Super Reviewer

I am in total awe with this movie. Total awe. A decadent, surreal, introspective masterpiece. Words can not even begin to describe how fully affected I was by this movie. The directing was fucking incredible - every single second of every single frame was filled with purpose, the director had a tendency of staying with a scene for minutes, even, after a main character leaves the frame, no matter how minimal the action, that I found ingenious. The director was not afraid to get as close as possible to show the beauty in every human face, no matter how imperfect, and to stay with his characters' movement. No matter how repetitive, these shots always worked, especially when the actors filled the pregnant silence with their expressions or just mere presence. There were so many incredible shots, all of them more than notable. I also loved how the camera was almost constantly in movement, there were few completely still shots. The actors were brilliant, especially the lead - he had a quiet, intense dignity reminiscent of someone like Klaus Kinski that fascinated me. The story was surreal and so bloody potent, the final shot had me in tears not from any particular emotional drag but from the mere beauty of it and the power of what I had just witnessed. By all means, this is not for everyone, it requires a lot of patience. This is not just entertainment, this is a film that absolutely requires you to think about what you are viewing and ask questions, even if they aren't answered right away. But it is the most amazing film I have seen in quite some time, and has instantly become a favourite.

Christopher Mercer

Super Reviewer

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