Burnt by the Sun

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +3

Content: -2

It is 1936 in Stalin's Russia, and this story is dedicated to everyone burnt by the sun of revolution. Colonel Serguei Kotov (Nikita Mikhalkov), his young wife Maroussia (Ingeborga Dapkounaite), adoring daughter Nadia (played by Mikhalkov's real-life six-year-old) and other friends and relatives are spending a long, languid summer's day at their country home near Moscow. This scene is a charming look into their seemingly peaceful life of sauna baths, singing and dancing, playing soccer and boating on the lake. However, on the periphery are parades by young soldiers in training, a practice gas attack and tanks that appear to frighten the peasants. But the real menace to Col. Kotov and his family is Mitya (Oleg Menchikov), a former lover of Maroussia. He has come to charm and ultimately betray. This glimpse into Russian life, particularly the relationship between Kotov and Nadia, is both endearing and heartbreaking as political duty overrides personal emotions. Mikhalkov also co-wrote and directed this 1994 Academy Award winner for best foreign film. This thought-provoking character study of both people and the Russian culture will be appreciated by mature audiences, especially those fascinated by Russia's dark history.

The Kotov family ties are strong, with love covering generational differences and eccentricities of personalities. Several scenes of Kotov and Nadia are unforgettable as they boat on the lake together and as she steers the car that, unknown to her, will take her father away forever. The earthy part of family life shows some child nudity in the sauna, and there is a long, sensuous scene of Kotov and Maroussia in bed. A considerable amount of the crude and obscene language is used by a peasant who appears periodically, and exclamatory profanity is common among the other characters. Several acts of violence, including striking and shooting, are as sad as they are inevitable, but cannot be described as gratuitous. The bloody results of Kotov brutally beaten and a suicide showing bloody slashed wrists are gruesome, however. Although the underlying theme of BURNT BY THE SUN is family love, this is certainly not a family movie. Even adults may be offended to see the foul and crude expressions printed out in the English subtitles, which prevents a positive acceptability rating.

Preview Reviewer: Margaret Reid
Samuel Goldwyn Co., 10203 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90067-6403

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (15) times - Mild 7, Moderate 8

Obscene Language: Many (12) times (f-word 4, s-word 4, other 4, also crude joke about excretion)

Profanity: Exclamatory only - Several (9) times

Violence: Several times - Mild and Moderate (tanks frighten peasants; hitting; off-camera shooting; brutal beating; slashed wrists)

Sex: Once (sounds, obscured but explicit scene of married couple, no nudity)

Nudity: Few times (child) Near nudity (woman's bare back from waist up; low cut dress)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times (man grabs woman's breasts; affectionate pats on rear and goosing)

Drugs: Many times (social drinking)

Other: None

Running Time:
Intended Audience: Adults

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