Burning Bush

Critics Consensus

Burning Bush takes an engrossing -- and ultimately uplifting -- ground-level look at a real-life struggle against totalitarianism.

95%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 22

83%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 297
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Movie Info

Prague, January 1969: Czech student Jan Palach sets himself on fire to protest the brutal Soviet military crackdown following the period of political openness known as Prague Spring. Polish filmmaking great Agnieszka Holland, who was a student at the FAMU film school in Prague during this tumultuous period, vividly recreates the political and cultural zeitgeist of Czechoslovakia in the late '60s. What could have been a standard docu-drama, in the hands of this superb filmmaker, becomes a stirring, complex account of the tension that swirled around these events and set the stage for the defeat of Communism 20 years later. As a period thriller of Cold War intrigue, BURNING BUSH has been likened to THE LIVES OF OTHERS. (c) HBO

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Critic Reviews for Burning Bush

All Critics (22) | Top Critics (8)

  • Just because Eastern Bloc period pieces are almost always stately and elegiac doesn't mean a largely compelling movie like this shouldn't still manage to surprise us once or twice over the course of four hours.

    Aug 7, 2014 | Full Review…
  • Enthralling ...

    Jul 24, 2014 | Rating: 3.5/4
  • Holland never risks overlooking the hardship that comes with being on the right side of history. "Burning Bush" is a riposte to the idea that there's anything beautiful about dying for your beliefs.

    Jun 13, 2014 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • Elegantly scripted with an edge of biting gallows humor by Stepan Hulik, Burning Bush blends an intimate domestic drama with a thrilling Cold War procedural ...

    Jun 12, 2014 | Full Review…

    Ella Taylor

    NPR
    Top Critic
  • An absorbing docudrama that maintains a gratifying equilibrium between hope and cynicism.

    Jun 11, 2014 | Rating: B | Full Review…

    Mike D'Angelo

    AV Club
    Top Critic
  • "Burning Bush" really isn't intended for American viewers, and you may need to do a little homework or scramble to keep up. Generally speaking, it's highly worth it.

    Jun 11, 2014 | Full Review…

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