Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Burnt by the Sun|
Actors: Nikita Mikhalkov, Ingeborga Dapkunaite, Oleg Menshikov, Nadezhda Mikhalkova, André Oumansky
Director: Nikita Mikhalkov
Genres: Art House & International, Comedy, Drama
Russian filmmaker Nikita Mikhalkov is also the star of this tragic 1994 drama about the last happy season in the life of a Bolshevik hero's family. The year is 1936, and Stalin's purges are in full swing. Despite his reput... more »
one of those romans | WI United States | 10/07/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I find a lot of reviews presented in this forum unsatisfactory. They either debate whether or not "Burnt by the Sun" deserved an Oscar or criticize the controversial figure of the film's director, Mikhalkov, his political stances, deficiencies, faults, etc. A few if any reviews talk about the emotional power of this picture, which affected me tremendously."Burnt by the Sun", or "Drained by the Sun" (a more accurate translation from Russian) has impressed me with its depth and subtle nuances in portraying people's inner psyche, their desires, fears, hopes and illusions. It is a very humane and cruel movie at the same time. It's hard if not impossible to choose sides, e.g. in the beginning I found myself sympathizing with Mitya, the antagonist, who was forced to leave his home, who lost the love of his life to Kotov but survived the horrors of wars, only to find out later for me that he is in fact just a merciless murderer and betrayer, burned out and empty as a carcass of the corpse, cynical enough to befriend and play with a six-year old daughter of his victim. Starting with the opening scene, the movie grabbed my attention and never let go. A young, handsome man returns home to his apartment close to the heart of Soviet Russia - the Kremlin, exhausted, apathetic, and drained emotionally and physically. We presume that he is a big shot in a new Soviet government, for he has a big place all to himself and his French servant. He turns on the radio, doesn't answer the phone calls, pulls out his gun, and takes out all but one bullet. Classical Russian roulette. What is it that makes a man cross that line? Is it fear? Is it necessity? Is it the last escape before the path from which you cannot steer? Is it the last noble thing that you can do?.... "
WHAT "THE PIANIST" WAS TO POLAND, THIS IS TO RUSSIA.
Shashank Tripathi | Gadabout | 01/06/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This absolute poetry on camera, which bagged the 1995 best international film award, is a masterpiece I highly recommend you to watch. Russians (or other followers of Stalin's times) may be a bit jaded by the theme of 30's USSR suffering. But for the rest of us, "Burnt by the Sun" glides effortlessly, seamlessly though the genres as it tells of a handful of Russian characters who collectively constitute a family of sorts with great humor and drama, poignant and sweetly sentimental moments, and excellence both technically and artistically. What is more, the film's story is interesting, unpredictable, and well told with depth and neatly developed characters.The reviewers who have lamented about the politics of the our time, the academy award and the bravura with which it was accepted etc. are making weirdly baseless comments. If you enjoyed Polanski's opus "Pianist", I guarantee you're in for a visual and sentimental treat with this one as well!"
Under the Shadow of Stalin
James Ferguson | Vilnius, Lithuania | 06/27/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Mikhalkov always had a flair for Chekhovian drama, and he doesn't disappoint the viewer in this movie, which essentially updates "The Cherry Orchard" to Stalinist Russia. What we get is a tumultuous day in the life of a theatre group in a tranquil rural community, lorded over by the proud Commander Kotov, as the small town prepares for the celebration of Stalin's first ride in an air balloon. Mikhalkov deftly mixes humor with pathos, the hallmark of all his movies, as the bucolic life is broken by the return of Mitya (impeccably played by Oleg Menshikov). We slowly get to learn of Mitya's mission with a profound sense of foreboding. The acting is purposely staged to give the scenes their rich theatrical air, yet there is a naturalism too, as Mikhalkov has such a fine eye for detail. To reveal too much of the movie is to give away its stunning climax. It was one of the first films to emerge from the post-Soviet era and gave Mikhalkov a broader international audience, earning him an Oscar in 1994."
This film shows the realities of the Stalinist era
James Ferguson | 05/01/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"No one in the West understands what the Russian Revolution really did to the people who were left behind in the wake of political upheaval. This film shows the edgy realities of the new Russia under Stalin, whose cult of personality demands that one of the heroes of the Revolution, now married to his assassin's childhood sweetheart, be executed. The assassin, a musical prodigy, returns to the house of his former love, the daughter of one of Russia's great musicians, where he relives his life as a music student. In the conflict that ensues between the Soviet and traditional understandings of Russia, the assassin reveals that his fear of Stalin is greater than any other drive he has. A symbolic fireball that appears from time to time indicates the danger inherent in this conflicted society. The film is remarkable for its Chekhovian quality that questions the meaning of a society divided against itself. It also raises the question of the meaning of art in a world that values "trains with geese" as its highest achievement. The use of symbols, especially at the end, gives the political aspects of the film a chilling reality
that ordinary historical discourse cannot achieve.
As a work of art the film is remarkable. END"