Solntse (The Sun) (2005)
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.
Solntse (The Sun) Photos
as Shouwa-Tennou Hirohito
as General Douglas MacArthur
as General MacArthur
as Empress Kojun
as The Chamberlain
as Old Servant
as MacArthur's Warrant Officer
as Prime Minister Suzuki
as Yonai, Minister of the Navy
as Anami, Minister of the War
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Critic Reviews for Solntse (The Sun)
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.
Alexander Sokurov's The Sun demands and rewards patience.
The Sun took four years to reach American theaters, but the long delay hasn't diminished the force of Sokurov's experimentation.
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.
Though he successfully humanizes Hirohito, who is shown happily shedding his divinity, Sokurov doesn't entirely exonerate him.
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.
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