It's 1936 and respected hero of the Bolshevik Revolution Colonel Sergei Kotov is living an idyllic life in the Russian countryside with his wife Maroussia and daughter Nadia. One glorious summer's day his serenity is interrupted by the arrival of the mysterious Dimitri, a former lover of Maroussia who had disappeared from her life ten years earlier. With songs and stories their new guest charms everyone but Kotov soon begins to suspect more sinister motives for his re-appearance. Set against the growing threat of Stalin's regime of terror, Nikita Mikhalkov's poignant, Oscar-winning him lingers in the memory long after viewing.
This is an exceptional film. The acting, the direction, the photography, all create an evocative atmosphere of a part of Russian history.In the very realistic portrait of a family there is tenderness, humour, tension, and through all the dark undercurrent of life lived under Stalin. Definitely worth watching more than once.
Interesting film but overlong and theatrical
- Burnt by the Sun review by PV
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You rated this film: 4
This film is good in parts - it's genuinely interesting, and when it allows the plot to break through the theatrical overacting and alleged 'comedy' (maybe you gotta be Russian to get it?) the film sparks to life. Set in the early 30s, it tells the story - true, and so true for so many others - of what happens when people live in a dictatorship: the betrayal (personal and political), the shifting sangs of allegiance, the hypocrisy, the paranoia, the misery and bleak existence that so many lived through. Way too long, and the subtitles are ropey - and a few dates on screen would have helped - but still well worth a watch for any who perhaps believe that communism was ever glorious or good for 'the people' against 'imperialism' (I saw parallels with Islamic paranoia today actually). The last scenes are almost of classic status.