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Utomlennye Solntsem

Burnt by the sun

A summers day at a dacha in Stalinist Russia, 1936. A hero of the Revolution, Kotov ( director Mikhalkov), basks in the affection of his wife Maroussia (Ingeborga Dapkounaite) and their daughter Nadia ( Nadia Mikhalkov), but his cosy world is disturbed by the arrival of Dimitri (Menchikov), Maroussia’s first love. In the course of a day Dimitri charms the household with his bravado and good looks, but Kotov becomes uneasy as the reason for Dimitri’s presence emerges. This is a careful, telling portrait of a community blinded by its illusions. Mikhalkov is a quintessentially Russian director : awkwardly, theatrically expansive, yet unafraid of ideas and complexity. His own performance is impeccable, and the scenes with his daughter Nadia achieve a rare poignancy, the film deservedly earned the Best Foreign Film Academy Award in 1995.

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