Burnt by the Sun (1994)
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as Sergei Kotov, Kotov
as Lidiia Stepanovna
as Elena Mikhailovna
as Olga Nikolaevna
as NKVD Officer
as NKVD Man
as NKVD Man
Critic Reviews for Burnt by the Sun
Though my foreign Oscar pick would still have been Eat Drink Man Woman, Sun is such a personal close second that I can go with the academy novelty of novelties.
Burnt by the Sun was not the best of the nominated foreign films (Before the Rain deserved to win), and is not even very original.
There's a touch of Chekhovian poetic realism in Mikhalkov's mesmerizingly beautiful chronicle of love, family, and the intrusion of politics, which won the 1994 best foreign-language Oscar.
Brilliant allegory about retired Russian officer who discovers he can't escape Stalin's purges.
A brilliant, Chekhovian meditation on trust, love, and the intrusive horrors that period of time brought to otherwise normal families.
Audience Reviews for Burnt by the Sun
Fantastic film of betrayal set during the rise of Stalin. You just know that betrayal in Stalinist Russia isn't going to go very well.
A real mixed bag, this film reveals the capricious nature of the Stalin era in the Soviet Union without romanticizing it, but is, like many Russian novels, terribly over-populated. The first half hour to forty-five minutes, we are introduced to the large clan that lives in the dacha of retired hero of the revolution, Col. Kotov (Nikita Mikhalkov, who also directed) and some few guests. Some of the characters serve important roles later on in the film, but most serve as background to the main story. Initially, this viewer was quite confused trying to figure out who all these people were and how they were related. However, the rest of the film quite clearly set us up for the chilling, violent conclusion. The scenery was bucolic, and there was a liberal dose of humor to go with the inevitable tragedy. If one can make it through the whirlwind of character introductions, there is a reward for patience.
Burnt by Sun was a movie that left me wondering why it was honored the Academy Award winner for best foreign film in that year. Maybe It was worthy for the cinematography but the story itself was so boring that I found it nearly impossible to finish watching. It was more 2 hours long and almost nothing happened and the characters were so stupid to me. It was a story about the life a man under the regime of Stalin. Even describing it was boring!
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