The Second World War drama “Burnt by the Sun 2” opened in cinemas across Russia this week.
It’s a sequel to the 1994 film of the same name, which won critical acclaim with audiences in the West and earned an Oscar for Best Foreign Language film.
The action moves on from 1936 to 1941 to 43 and revisits the main characters of the original.
“It’s a time when the war permeates everything – the sky, the road, the river, children, women, the elderly and so on. It’s a completely different feeling and I think, in this sense, the experience of war for our people ïs very strong and emotive.” said Nikita Mikhalkov, the director.
The film tries to capture the deep sense of suffering felt by the Russian people at the hands of the German Army as well as their Soviet leader.
Stalin remains a divisive figure among Russians.
For some, his heroic victory outweighs his iron fist while others warn of the dangers of rehabilitating his image.
“The individual’s experience makes a big difference. For the veterans, like we see in the film, for them he is a great hero, a guiding light. For those who had relatives or who they themselves were in the gulags, he is evil, a tormentor. Who is right? You can’t pitch one against the other because their all lives are so deeply and personally connected with Stalin.” says Mikhalkov.
With a budget of 41 million euros, “Burnt by the Sun 2” is Russia’s most expensive film to date.
It has been released as the country prepares for the 65th anniversary of the allied victory in the Second World War on May the 9th.
It is also entered for the Cannes Film Festival.