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Burnt by the Sun
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Winner of the Academy Award(r) for Best Foreign film and the Cannes Grand Jury Prize, BURNT BY THE SUN is the unforgettable story of a Soviet hero whose happy family is suddenly targeted by Stalin's secret police. Nikita Mikhalkov directs and stars as Colonel Serguei Kotov, a hero of the Revolution who is spending the summer in the country with his young daughter (Mikhalkov's real-life duaghter), his wife and her eccentric family. But when his wife's childhood love suddenly appears, the idyllic summer day takes a surprising turn. A lyrical film filled with beauty and warmth, BURNT BY THE SUN isalso an indelible account of a man dedicated to family and fatherland, cruelly destroyed by political paranoia.
- Aspect Ratio : 1.66:1
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- MPAA rating : s_medR R (Restricted)
- Product Dimensions : 7.5 x 5.5 x 0.5 inches; 4 Ounces
- Director : Nikita Mikhalkov
- Media Format : Multiple Formats, Color, Letterboxed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
- Run time : 2 hours and 15 minutes
- Release date : July 15, 2003
- Actors : Andre Oumansky, Oleg Menchikov, Nikita Mikhalkov, Ingeborga Dapkounaite
- Subtitles: : English
- Producers : Nikita Mikhalkov
- Language : Unqualified, Russian (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
- Studio : Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
- ASIN : B00009MEKP
- Number of discs : 1
- Best Sellers Rank: #31,899 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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This film tells the story of a (very likeable) major Russian hero, (retired and living at an art camp of sorts), and his lovely family, and how the tide of his life turns as a direct result of Stalin's lunatic madness and paranoia. Now, I want to say up front that I usually hate smooshy script and there's none of that here, albeit, there's a basic underlying love story.
If you can at all tolerate English subtitles, don't miss this one -- it's just super and SO much better than cheesy Hollywood fluff!
At times this film bogs down in its' slice of life depiction. Nevertheless, this makes the ending even more devastating, you know that these individuals' lazy, dreamy intellectual lives are over and happiness will never come to them again.
I am more willing to excuse some of the ham-handed bits of the movie, Russian movies, Russian literature; hell, most Russian art that makes it to the West has it moments of over-importance. We Americans seem to like our Russians brooding, mysterious, and over-bearing.
Not being a native speaker I can't comment on the dialog or the stilted acting, to me what these people are saying in the end really doesn't matter. It's the interactions between these people and their passions, petty complaints, and obsessions that make this movie.
Granted each character has more tics than a fine Swiss wristwatch but they are Intelligentsia.
"Burnt by the Sun" is solid film and yes, it does go over the top from time to time. However, the cinematography alone was worth an Oscar. I gorgeous colors used in the film breathe nostalgia and doom at the same time. Set design and costumes too add to this mix. The director succeeding in showing a certain class of people and their fragile lives and how those lives where steam-rollered by one of the 20th centuries worst despots.
(Minor defect: the English subtitles cannot be turned off... somewhat irritating for those that can follow the Russian dialog and don't want the distraction of the subtitles).
Top reviews from other countries
Essentially a retired War Hero finds himself out of favour with Stalin. Whilst engrossed in his idyllic and happy family life we have hints of the impending danger which will see him collected by the former childhood lover of his much younger wife, who a visiting dandy, works for the NKVD. This charming character reveals his true intentions slowly, and one cannot help but share a feeling of helplessness as the precious moments of freedom and life, tick away, as he informs the General of his impending arrest.
The Generals departure in front of his family is with stoicism and the brave face of a military man, and the leaving scene with his child is very poignant.
This is a wonderful film, and the black comedy makes the subject matter somehow more bearable, without compromising the real sense of pathos and haunting sadness it left me with. I would well recommend this film. It touches a grave matter with a lightness of touch, but this should not be mistaken for light hearted.It is the small poignant moments which really testify to the tragic nature of the storyline.
This 1994 film, starring and directed by Nikita Mikhalkov, won the Oscar for best foreign film the following year, and it is easy to see why. Even if you have no interest in the historical subject matter, you will soon be able to pick up on the political machinations, and the unstable lives, so common in Stalinist Russia.
The film is also exceptionally photographed, with the hot summer portrayed so well, you can almost feel the heat.
What remains impressive is the father-daughter relationship described in this movie. I was impressed about the way they pictured it and later on found out that, in fact, the daughter in the movie is also Mihalkov's real daughter. It is a hard, tough and impressive movie, which tells a lot about Russian communist rea.
I highly recommend anyone seeing it. It is a reference movie for the Russian cinematography!