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SUN

38 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

This 2009 theatrical release from Alexander Sokurov is a fascinating and compelling film that chronicles the events leading up to Hirohito s momentous speech, the historic renunciation of his divine status and his meetings with General Douglas MacArthur, the commander-in-chief of the occupying American forces, who advises his own President not to declare the Japanese leader a war criminal. In Japanese and English with English subtitles. Special Features include Production Notes by Alexander Sokurov, Stills Gallery and Theatrical Trailer

Review

One of the best movies of the year. Manohla Dargis, THE NEW YORK TIMES --The New York Times

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: KINO INTERNATIONAL
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003C9VEUQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #878,298 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "SUN" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 33 people found the following review helpful By R. J MOSS on December 20, 2006
Format: DVD
Sokurov has superceeded even his recent achievements with this simply awesome piece. Ogata's staggering performance as Emporer Hirohito is the film's pivot. Not a moment of exaggeration, mannerism or overstated camerawork. The interplay of a gloved hand, of light catching the lower rim of one eye, the regimented deep space of the palace, the ambient short-wave sound track in Hirohito's study as he jots off a haku - the list is long. An apocolyptic dream shakes him from a noonday nap. It's one of cinema's most impressive dream sequences, in keeping with the Emporer's biological passions. Later, he scans a print of Durer's,'Four Riders' which, when the camera pounces on him from behind, mysteriously enlargens so that Hirohito's head swims in its detail. As a sustained study of profound pathos, the film has no equal. The Emporer's Chaplinesque antics before the GI's cameras in his front garden are unspeakably humiliating. The annihilation of the Empire, and with it the sombre lifestyle, liberates him from the absurdly suffocating protocols that attended his deification. The film ends with him in hand with his wife, imprisioned in his palace, but 'free' to enjoy the pleasures of his children. As a raid on the inarticulate, a devastation, a change of beliefs, the abiding state of the Emporer's mind is evinced in his inability to speak. He goes to speak, the words won't come; unmitigated shock has jettisoned his tongue from his mind.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Roland E. Zwick on December 20, 2010
Format: DVD
***1/2

Alexander Sokurov's austere, moody and claustrophobic chamber piece, "The Sun," takes place in Tokyo in 1945, just as the victorious American forces are overtaking the city. The focus of the film is on Emperor Hirohito (believed by his subjects to be a direct descendent of the Sun goddess Amaterasu ) who, holed up in a bunker in the royal palace, agonizes over how such an ignominious fate could have befallen his nation and his people - and the part he himself may have played in bringing that outcome about.

Hirohito spends much of the first half of the film engaging in deep introspection and personal recrimination, blaming himself for having placed too much faith in the power of the Empire and for relying too heavily on the enthusiasm of the soldiers rather than properly equipping the army. Meanwhile, he pores over old family photo albums as well as pictures of glamorous Hollywood stars of the time, suggesting that he clearly doesn't despise all things American, even if that nation has become the cause of his downfall.

In the second half of the movie, Hirohito finds himself under house arrest, where his American captors ply him with wine and chocolate bars as they negotiate the terms of his surrender. Then he's brought before General MacArthur himself, who treats the defeated emperor with outward politeness but inward condescension and dismissiveness. The result is a subtle little game of cat-and-mouse in which two of the great figures of their time vie for position and power - both personal and diplomatic.

A largely fictionalized, impressionistic account of historical events, "The Sun" is definitely an acquired taste.
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Format: DVD
"The Sun" is the third film in Russian director Aleksandr Sokurov's tetralogy about powerful political figures as they suffer personally from their poor decisions. The first two films were about Adolf Hitler and Vladimir Lenin. "The Sun" is about Hirohito, Emperor of Japan, just after the Japanese surrender in 1945. The Emperor (Issey Ogata) is under house arrest in a building on the grounds of the Imperial Palace while the Allies decide what to do with him. He is attended by a chamberlain (Shiro Sano) and an elderly manservant, who try to preserve his normal routine. He is briefed by his ministers on the state of the war effort, he studies marine biology, takes a nap, writes his son, sees a guest, and meets General Douglas MacArthur (Robert Dawson), Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers in Japan, for the first time.

The way Sokurov presents this series of events gives the impression that it all happened in one day. Looking closely, that is not explicit but implicit, though the events actually took place over the course of months. There is much debate over the degree to which the Emperor was in control of the Japanese military and therefore responsible, or not, for "war crimes". "The Sun" takes the view that was adopted by the United States and its Allies, and therefore by the Japanese, after the war: Hirohito was isolated, easily manipulated by those more ambitious than himself, and a bit clueless. He was just a figurehead, and the Allies wanted him to continue to be so as Japan recovered from the devastation of war. Presented this way, Hirohito seems a lot like King Louis XVI of France or Tsar Nicholas II of Russia.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By paul on May 24, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant Video
The movie started off slow and boring for the first twenty minutes I couldn't watch any longer. That was too long to watch a guy eat a meal, pant and have someone dress him. Too much focus on his servants a common practice for royalty and not interesting enough to watch for lengthy time.
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