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Burnt by the Sun-DVD Review 11/05/2010

Posted by Films to consider in Drama, Movies, Russian language film, Suspense.
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Burnt by the Sun (Russian) 1994

Among other awards and nominations:
Winner, Best Foreign Language Film, Academy Awards
Winner, Grand Prize of the Jury (Mikhalkov), Cannes Film Festival

Directed by Nikita Mikhalkov
Starring Nikita Mikhalkov, Nadya (Nadezhda) Mikhalkov, Ingeborga Dapkunaite, and Oleg Menchikov

In mid 1930s Russia, Colonel Sergei Kotov, a larger-than-life hero of the Revolution, is spending a happy day with wife Marusia, daughter Nadya, and his wife’s family. Mitya, a former friend and lover of Marusia, shows up unexpectedly after a long absence and is welcomed into their home. He privately informs Kotov that he is now a member of Stalin’s police force and that the colonel is his next assignment. When Mitya leaves, Kotov will be forced to leave his family and go with him.

This is one of those films that started out slowly for me; its cast of characters was just charming enough to keep me interested. Once Mitya arrives, emotions understandably get more complicated. Especially notable is little Nadya, who is director and star Mikhalkov’s real-life daughter. Surrounded by adults and without seeming overly precocious, she conveys a very natural air of maturity and wisdom.

A few instances of “magical realism” seem a bit out of place but I don’t think they detract from the rest of the movie. N. B., there is a Burnt by the Sun 2 (2010) that is just out on video, but that movie did not get good reviews.

135 min. Rated R. Some violence and sexual content.

For more info:
Burnt by the Sun

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