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BURNT BY THE SUN

Russia / France, 1994 (MIFF 1995)

Director: Nikita Mikhalkov

Ddicated to "all those who were burnt by the betraying sun of the revolution", this master­ful display of bravura filmmaking by director Niki­ta Mikhaikov (Close to Eden, Slave of Love, Oblomov) is a tale of tragic grandeur told through the deli­cate palette of a single summer's day in 1936.

Red Army commander Serguei Kotov's idyllic country existence with radiant wife Maroussia and precocious child Nadia (Mikhalkov and his six year old play father and daughter) seems a world away from the ever growing purges and Gulags of Stalin's Russia. Yet into this pastoral paradise of love and laughter comes Dimitri— former suitor of Maroussia's, now an officer of the political police-casting a shadow from the past across the family's increasingly unforesee­able future. As thunderclouds obscure the skies of the dacha, the all-pervasive atmosphere of dreamy Chekhovian languor is slowly devoured by violent and powerful historical forces

Mikhaikov's first post-Soviet-era film to grap­ple with his country's political legacy, Burnt By the Sun deservedly shared the 1994 Cannes Grand jury Prize with Zhang Yimou's To Live, another (very different) film drawing on the lives and dreams of those caught up in tumultuous and terrifying times.

See also...

CLOSE TO EDEN

There are few signs of modern society on the vast, rolling steppes of China's inner Mongolia. The uninterrupted greens and yellows of the gently slopmg hills meet the endlessly blue horizon. Here ... More »

EXODUS: BURNT BY THE SUN 2

A long-awaited sequel and the most expensive Russian film ever made. ... Burnt by the Sun claimed both the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film and the Cannes Grand Prix in 1994. It took eight years ... More »

UNFINISHED PIECE FOR A MECHANICAL PIANO

The film is based on Chekhov's early play, 'Platonov', and on some of his short stories. Director Nikita Mikhalkov has changed the ending of the play, in order to bring it more in line with the ... More »

HOUSE OF FOOLS

Based on a true story and winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 2002 Venice Film Festival, House of Fools is a biting, satirical look at war set in an insane asylum, seen through the eyes of a woman ... More »

ALEXANDRA

“Alexandra presents war for what it is: brutal, crushing, and ugly.” - Variety Filmmaker Alexander Sokurov (The Sun at MIFF 06, Russian Ark) casts an austere gaze over war-torn Chechnya with this ... More »

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