Soviet Union A Tragic Phantasmagoria

Repentance, an anti-Stalinist blockbuster, opens in the U.S.

To any Westerner who doubts that things are changing in the Soviet Union, Tengiz Abuladze's Repentance will come as a shock. The 2 1/2-hour film, which was first released in Moscow a year ago and opened in the U.S. last week, is a powerful denunciation of the Stalinist-style police state and all its horrors: personality-cult paranoia, official corruption, institutionalized mendacity, arbitrary arrests and executions, dehumanizing labor camps. That Abuladze was ever allowed to make this film is remarkable. That it has been shown to millions of ordinary Soviet citizens, many of whom greeted it with standing ovations, is astounding. And that...