Burnt by the Sun. Mikhalkov.1994

In terms of interview preparation I have some Russian films to watch. Yesterday it was “Burnt by the Sun”. I had no expectations and even hadn’t read the plot or the minor wikipedia article before the watch. However, it turned out to be helpful to make out the director’s and scriptwriter’s manipulations with the audience.

As a naive calm viewer you observe beautiful russian country with the active chief and harmonious family. Everything is fine until Mitya(Митя) came. He brings disharmony and conflict in their life, speaks odds and remembers old love wounds with the chief’s wife. At this part of the film we enjoy many accurate observations of life and great sense of humour. The fat woman like a child at the beach, flirt at the anteroom, nude swimming of the comrade and many other little tiny details which make us really believe.

2975Nonetheless, we delight the beautiful placid life of the country it seems to have no plot. People talk and walk. They remember the past, make unclear hints, have hysterical fits and moments of happiness (scene on the boat and at the bathhouse). That are dots which have taken the outline to the end of the film not earlier.

The end is the absolute shock. Those clear beautiful life, kind people and consonant relationships all are destroyed by the slight movement above. During the last scene we have got how were people distorted and broken inside by the ill-natured system and the whole film with talks about the Revolution and traitors became clear. It went wrong and increases like a snowball. We are horrified the distraction made by the big system establishment with the protagonist. The postscript and a little knowledge of history inform us that no his wife nor clever daughter had avoided the common and terribly typical punishment of that time.


As for me, that was some shock equal to shock on holocaust’s details. I couldn’t sleep some time like I didn’t have history lessons. But it is art, not short school history with lots of emotions. And this artwork conveyed me the sense of terrible disharmony in the world.


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