What You Need To Know:
(Ac, H, L, V, SS, NN) Subtly anti-Stalinist though socialism portrayed & promoted; 10 obscenities & vulgarities; brief violence & 1 suicide; brief fornication scene & implied fornication; and, brief nudity.
Winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, BURNT BY THE SUN is a subtly intriguing film. Director Nikita Mikhalkov’s saga relates the carefree antics of an enchanting extended family against the backdrop of the ominous Stalin-ruled socialist Soviet state. Serguei Kotov is a retired army officer and hero of the Bolshevik revolution. He resides with his wife, daughter and extended family in the Russian countryside. Their lives appear to be leisurely and happy until Mitia, an old friend and ex-lover of Maroussia’s, appears on the scene. Eventually, the harsh realities of socialism are portrayed under the control of a ruthless leader.
Director Nikita Mikhalkov’s meshing of political and personal life is masterful. The cinematography of the dacha and countryside is excellent. Development of relationships between characters is the spice of the film. Also, the acting is first rate. Nikita Mikhalkov shines as Kotov, the good-natured, loving husband, father and war hero. Nadia Mikhalkov is absolutely charming as the fresh, quick-witted and adorable daughter. Regrettably, this subtitled movie contains some questionable scenes of brief nudity, sexual intercourse, and violence, plus the promotion of socialism and worship of the state and its leader, although there is a subtle, satirical anti-Stalinist undertone.