Friday, November 30, 2007

Утомлённые солнцем - Utomlyonnye Solntsem (Burnt by the Sun)

With a very interesting and compelling story this 1994 Nikita Mikhalkov movie tells about a revolutionary hero Colonel Kotov spending an idyllic summer in his dacha with his young wife, their little girl and the extended family and friends. But in 1936 Joseph Stalin was about to do the Great Purge and Stalin himself marked Kotov to be purged.

If the above is the historic frame of reference is also the crucial part of the story even when the movie centers more in a love and/or revenge tale between Kotov, Marusia his wife and Mitya the wife ex-fiancé that years ago suddenly disappeared because Kotov sent him to spy the white Russians.

The movie has very nice cinematography with some scenes that look like perfect paintings and great performances by Oleg Menshikov (Mitya) and especially none other than Nikita Mikhalkov that plays Colonel Sergei Petrovich Kotov.

If you see the movie and wonder why is called Burnt by the Sun or the literal translation Weary Sun as I did, is related to the song that Kotov’s daughter sings which is a Polish tango Ta Ostatnia Niedziela with new Russina lyrics that became very popular in the 1930’s; but also refers to the mysterious orb of light that appears at various points in the film and becomes the dedication of the film to those “burnt by the sun of Revolution”.

The movie tied for the Grand Prize of the Jury and won the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury at the 1994 Cannes also was nominated for the Palm D’Or. Won many other awards and nominations including the 1995 Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film and the 1996 BAFTA for Best Film not in the English Language.

I feel that this is a movie for all adult audiences.


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