Burnt By the Sun
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Customer Reviews:

  • A Masterful Fake
    This movie stirrs a mixed reaction. On one hand, the tragic, no-way-out atmosphere of the Stalinist era is masterfully depicted. On the other hand, I do not believe in the naiveness and purity of the main hero, Kombrig Kotov.

    Brilliant acting, thou....more info

  • I understand how difficult it is to understand...
    It is SO funny to read these reviews sometimes... But I can get it. We have so much in different between our nations that I don't even wanna talk about it right now. I'll be happy to answer to all of your questions you might have about this movie. I bet you understood how deep this movie is. It does have more questions than answers especially when you watch it less than 3 times. Of course I don't even talk about people who wanted to press 'fwd' button. These guys will never get Russian culture at all. But people are people. For me - this is the best russian movie ever, it has outstanding plays and very, very deep......more info
  • Fascinating
    This film is a memorable experience-- you will find yourself really loving the characters and the climax at the end breaks your heart. Give it a chance-- you won't regret it.

    Very few Americans know much about Russian history or culture, which isn't entirely our fault due to the Cold War creating an atmosphere of fear and ignorance. But really, if you want to watch this film, a lot of things will make more sense if you have any CLUE about Russian history before, during, and after the Bolshevik revolution. Also, some things, like the white fireball, are not "mysterious"--just ask a Russian person to explain the reference to you. I also have to take offense at the comment by another reviewer that Russians are melodramatic or overbearing, or portrayed that way. *That comment* is melodramatic and overbearing. ...more info
  • a must-have movie
    The cinematography in this movie was amazing and the acting was brilliant. The character actors were charming, and the leads were all very strong. Sometimes the use of symbols got a little esoteric for me, but never detracted from my emotional involvement in story--and what a wonderful, tense,funny,heartbreaking story it is. A Russian Impressionist painting come to life!...more info
  • This book rocks my husband wrote it for me
    hi my namee is sun byun my husband wrote this book for me because I burnt him with a hot frying pan (hence the name, burnt by the sun) It is a wonderful book...more info
  • lyrically beautiful and haunting
    This film, about the last peaceful summer enjoyed by Colonel Kotov, a Bolshevik hero, his wife and daughter moves slowly and lyrically through the languid summer days, lulling the viewer with beauty and laughter.

    The arrival of an unusual guest, Kotov's wife's former lover, injects some insecurity into the atmosphere. The tension builds gradually. Before the viewer has had much time to figure out what is going on, they are swept up in the terror of the Stalinist purges, much as the Soviets themselves were.

    Strong acting, incredible landscapes, and a gripping story based on reality all make this a film worth seeing, and seeing again. ...more info
  • Tragic, yet still very entertaining
    This was a great film, but tragic. The main character is a Colonel in the Soviet Red Army. A hero of the revolution who is acquainted personally w/ Josef Stalin. An idyllic summer day at the family's dacha is disrupted by the arrival of an old friend.
    Only this old friend has a score to settle. The old friend of the family is charming, talented, and good-looking. However, under this facade is a ruthless NKVD officer with terrible plans. Highly recommended....more info
  • Five stars - if you can overlook the orb
    This was a wonderful movie. I'm surprised at the comment from the person in Austin, claiming that the acting was sub-par - the intelligence of the daughter alone was enough to keep my interest piqued, but the rest of the characters were equally impressive. The only thing I can think of is that the reviewer in Austin doesn't know enough Russian to be able to see it...?

    The golden orb (which I'm assuming is supposed to represent the sun) is an enigma; at the first sight of it, I thought someone had gotten a hold of the video tape and overdubbed a different movie. Overall, though, I thought it was great!...more info

  • This film shows the realities of the Stalinist era
    No one in the West understands what the Russian Revolution really did to the people who were left behind in the wake of political upheaval. This film shows the edgy realities of the new Russia under Stalin, whose cult of personality demands that one of the heroes of the Revolution, now married to his assassin's childhood sweetheart, be executed. The assassin, a musical prodigy, returns to the house of his former love, the daughter of one of Russia's great musicians, where he relives his life as a music student. In the conflict that ensues between the Soviet and traditional understandings of Russia, the assassin reveals that his fear of Stalin is greater than any other drive he has. A symbolic fireball that appears from time to time indicates the danger inherent in this conflicted society. The film is remarkable for its Chekhovian quality that questions the meaning of a society divided against itself. It also raises the question of the meaning of art in a world that values "trains with geese" as its highest achievement. The use of symbols, especially at the end, gives the political aspects of the film a chilling reality
    that ordinary historical discourse cannot achieve.
    As a work of art the film is remarkable. END...more info
  • Uh... I thought this was the band, burnt by the sun!
    Okay, i bought this thinking it was about burnt by the sun the grind/metal band...Well, i was wrong ! Anyways, i got a change to actullie read the book & i was quite impress better then any other book i've read before. Interesting plot and it has the best ending! Buy it now !...more info
  • A viewer
    I saw bits of Burnt by the Sun years ago, but when I saw it fully recently I was impressed. It's a film basically about love and life in the Soviet Union in the 1930's. It might be a bit long for western viewers especially when reading subtitles, but if you give it a chance you will gain some insight into the cult of Stalin leading to the "purges of '36". The ending in this film is one that you'll probably never forget....more info
  • 40 minutes was enough for me
    In all fairness I can't review the whole film, since I walked of it--it was pretty annoying. I can't imagine how it could have won any awards; the acting was shallow grimacing....more info
  • Incredible Movie
    I thought this moving was engaging and sorrowful. A great picture was painted of Stalinist Russia and all of those who were affected by his dictatorship and paranoia. Great film and great historical lesson. I recommend it for anyone!...more info
  • A complete film of rare beauty, quality and joy
    I have never seen an equal to this film. It is incredibly moving. The complexity stirs me as a viewer, please see it if you can. END...more info
  • Watch it over and over
    I'm really into Russian literature and film and this one is pure cream. Perfect casting, spectacular cinematography, and a great story. This film is never boring and, for Americans, yields an incredible sense of Russian culture under Stalin; however, the tale is not at all limited to misery -- there is no shortage of light humor and very interesting day to day life experience here.
    This film tells the story of a (very likeable) major Russian hero, (retired and living at an art camp of sorts), and his lovely family, and how the tide of his life turns as a direct result of Stalin's lunatic madness and paranoia. Now, I want to say up front that I usually hate smooshy script and there's none of that here, albeit, there's a basic underlying love story.
    If you can at all tolerate English subtitles, don't miss this one -- it's just super and SO much better than cheesy Hollywood fluff!...more info
  • Most enjoyable....
    Enjoyed seeing this film for the third time since it was released.
    Nice film for your collection....more info
  • Heartbreaking
    This is one of the most powerful movies I can remember seeing. In many movies about the Holocaust or the gulags, the focus is on the suffering in the camps. This movie shows the idyllic life ripped apart by the paranoia of Stalin and his overwhelming cult of personality. The whole movie rings true with everything that i have read about the Soviet Union during the purges.

    The pace is slow, but the acting is brilliant, the cinematography gorgeous, and the ending packs a punch....more info

  • Highest Quality
    This excellent movie is beautifully photographed, deeply affecting, intricate but clear, and it illustrates the monstrous abuse a totalitarian government perpetrates upon its citizens and their heroic battles against it. I highly recommend it....more info
  • Under the Shadow of Stalin
    Mikhalkov always had a flair for Chekhovian drama, and he doesn't disappoint the viewer in this movie, which essentially updates "The Cherry Orchard" to Stalinist Russia. What we get is a tumultuous day in the life of a theatre group in a tranquil rural community, lorded over by the proud Commander Kotov, as the small town prepares for the celebration of Stalin's first ride in an air balloon. Mikhalkov deftly mixes humor with pathos, the hallmark of all his movies, as the bucolic life is broken by the return of Mitya (impeccably played by Oleg Menshikov). We slowly get to learn of Mitya's mission with a profound sense of foreboding. The acting is purposely staged to give the scenes their rich theatrical air, yet there is a naturalism too, as Mikhalkov has such a fine eye for detail. To reveal too much of the movie is to give away its stunning climax. It was one of the first films to emerge from the post-Soviet era and gave Mikhalkov a broader international audience, earning him an Oscar in 1994....more info
  • Definitely added to my collection of Russian movies
    I can't believe the negative reviews here about this movie.(?) I think you have to have a good understanding of Russian culture and of the era this movie took place in to appreciate its depth. But if you do have a good grasp on Russian history and culture and still don't find it to your liking, then maybe it is just not your cup of tea-however, it does not mean the movie is not good. From the amazon.com description and from the good reviews here, there is not much more I can add, except for it is one of my most favorite Russian movies, one that I've just gladly added to my collection. I hope others give it a chance! Watch it very closely-It is a classic work of genius. ...more info
  • burnt by the fire of the USSR revolution
    An homage to those burnt by the Russian Socialist tyranny. All who were there were burnt: the victims, the perpetrators, the bystanders, former heroes included. Ideals were vanquished, dreams were dashed. A heart wrenching look at the devastating effects of political violence. ...more info
  • A film for the educated.
    This film should only be viewed if one has some prior knowledge of the Russian Revolution and the Civil war that took place during the early part of the twentieth century. otherwise "Burnt by the Sun" is a magnificent film that is both inspiring and suspenseful. I recommend this film to all intellectuals who enjoy true Art on film. Most non-intellectuals would get board of this film fairly quickly. It is no wonder that it won an Academy Award. You must buy it. This film is sub-titled and can be somewhat difficult to follow, yet after a few minutes reading the sub-titles becomes second nature.

    I also would like to recommend the film Dr. Zhivago; it too is awesome....more info

  • History has determined their tragic fate
    This movie is about the most desperate and tragic situation in the human life. This is when our life is determined by external forces. Even the most basic form of happiness - being with you family, enjoying your child - were often impossible in the Russia of Stalin.

    Sometimes I think about people who were borne 20 years before World War II in Germany, Poland or Russia. I wonder whether they had a feeling that the life was extremely unfair to them. The feeling that your fate was determined by the time you were borne in, and that you couldn't do anything at all to somehow change it. If Mitya, Kotov and Marusya would not die then, they would have to wait for 50 years to be able to truly understand what happened to them and who was to blame for it.

    I was puzzled why Mitya picked up the phone and agreed to arrest Kotov. Why didn't he stop his suffering immediately, as he knew that he had no other option than ruining lives of the people he loved. Was it his hatred towards Kotov and the opportunity to take revenge for being expelled for 10 years? Was it the last hope that his love to Marusya would reverse her marriage?

    After watched the film again I decided that he knew from the offset there was no way out. Mitya went to his old home because he wanted just one thing - to say farewell to his dream that the old times would ever return. The dream that made him betray his comrades in the 20th, and come back from France in the 30th....more info