Solntse (The Sun) (2005)

Solntse (The Sun)



Critic Consensus: Certainly not for the impatient, Aleksandr Sokurov's deliberately paced look at Hirohito in the waning days of World War II is both enlightening and admirable in its restraint.

Movie Info

The events surrounding Japanese emperor Hirohito's August 1945 call for a complete cease fire among his troops serves as the subject of Alexander Sokurov's thought-provoking historical drama. In the aftermath of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Emperor Hirohito (Issey Ogata) announces to the world that Japan will surrender unconditionally. His declaration was broadcast over the radio on August 15, 1945, and stunned the Japanese people. In this film, Sokurov details not only the events surrounding the … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Art House & International, Drama
Directed By: ,
Written By: Yuri Arabov, Jeremy Noble, Yuri Abarov
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jun 1, 2010
Box Office: $46.4k
Lorber Films



as Shouwa-Tennou Hirohi...

as General Douglas MacA...

as General MacArthur

as Empress Kojun

as The Chamberlain

as Old Servant

as Scientist

as Adjutant of General

as MacArthur's Warrant ...

as Prime Minister Suzuk...

as Yonai, Minister of t...

as Anami, Minister of t...
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Solntse (The Sun)

All Critics (36) | Top Critics (11)

Working from Yuri Arabov and Jeremy Noble's script, Sokurov has a wonderful time not simply with Hirohito and history, but with his filmmaking, which can be oblique to the point of being stultifying. Here he plays with scale.

Full Review… | April 1, 2010
Boston Globe
Top Critic

Alexander Sokurov's The Sun demands and rewards patience.

Full Review… | March 25, 2010
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

The Sun took four years to reach American theaters, but the long delay hasn't diminished the force of Sokurov's experimentation.

Full Review… | November 19, 2009
AV Club
Top Critic

First shown at the Berlin Film Festival four years ago, The Sun is finally receiving its welcome American theatrical release, which means that one of the best movies of 2005 is now also one of the best of 2009.

November 19, 2009
New York Times
Top Critic

Though he successfully humanizes Hirohito, who is shown happily shedding his divinity, Sokurov doesn't entirely exonerate him.

Full Review… | November 17, 2009
Village Voice
Top Critic

As usual, Sokurov's unhurried pacing will test the patience of more fidgety viewers, although the script is more accessible than some of his recent efforts.

Full Review… | February 10, 2006
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Solntse (The Sun)

"The Sun" is a surprisingly lightweight movie, considering its setting at the end of World War II. The tone is deeply ironic, wondering how Emperor Hirohito(Issei Ogata) could allow the atrocities of an inhuman war to be fought in his name if he was so cultured, educated and interested in the sciences which clashes with the divinity forced upon him.(Correct me if I am wrong, but wasn't Hirohito just a figurehead?) In fact, his palace design owes more to Western than Japanese ideas. Upon his desk are the busts of Abraham Lincoln, Charles Darwin and Napoleon.(Well, the last one did not turn out so well.) In fact, Hirohito seems positively hurt at American anti-immigration legislation, partially blaming that for the war. And as General Douglas MacArthur(Robert Dawson) meets with Hirohito and does not find the devil he was expecting, the emperor discovers a world devastated just outside of his door that he was hardly aware of since most of his learning comes from books and tutors.

Walter M.

Super Reviewer


Like a long, pretentious play, recorded on film with absolutely no amendments for the new medium. Very hard to sit through, with some interesting moments, great acting by the Japanese actors, horrible and lazy American performances.

E. Cutler

Rich dramatization of the last few hours of WWII from Hirohito's viewpoint is rich, simple, and evocative. The meeting with McCarther is classic, and rarely has the situation of two cultures coming together been depicted so well.

vittorio carli

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