Burnt by the Sun 2

Burned by the Sun 2 / Утомлённые сольнцем 2

Published: July 11, 2016

Burned by the Sun 2 (Утомлённые сольнцем 2) is the sequel to the 1994 critically acclaimed Burned by the Sun. It consists of two parts, Exodus (2010; Предстояние) and Citadel (2011; Цитадель).

The film takes place almost a decade after its prequel, during World War Two. In Exodus, Kotov (played by Nikita Mikhalkov, who also wrote, directed, and produced the film), the film’s hero and a former military officer, is in a gulag, having been wrongfully convicted of political crimes. He escapes from the camp and serves on the front. Meanwhile, life has changed for his family, as well—his wife believes he is dead, and his daughter (played by Nadezhda Mikhalkova, Mikhalkov’s actual daughter), who has spent the past few years in hiding to avoid arrest, has become a nurse. In Citadel, Kotov returns home to find his family life forever changed.

The film was universally panned. This was partly due to the overly-dramatic acting and partly due to the numerous logical gaps between the first and second films—characters’ ages changed unexpectedly, dead characters were resurrected, and historical events were ignored. Some Russian critics were offended by what they found to be a negative portrayal of Soviet soldiers, while Western critics thought the film didn’t do enough to challenge the official Russian line about World War Two.

Nikita Mikhalkov, the film’s director and star, is a Putin supporter and a vocal Russian patriot who has publically supported the Crimean annexation and other movements popular with Russian conservatives and nationalists.

The film had the highest budget of any Russian film ever, but its box office take did not live up to expectations—Citadel in particular did spectacularly badly, particularly considering its $45 million budget.

Director: Nikita Mikhalkov
Stars: Nikita Mikhalkov, Oleg Men’shikov, Nadezhda Mikhalkova, Viktoria Tolstoganova, Sergey Bachurskiy
Production company: Prague International Films, Studio TriTe
Box office take: Exodus, $7.46 million; Citadel, $1.5 million

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Official trailers:




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About the author

Julie Hersh

Julie studied Russian as a Second Language in Irkutsk and before that, Bishkek, with SRAS's Home and Abroad Scholarship program, with the goal of someday having some sort of Russia/Eurasia-related career. She recently got her master’s degree from the University of Glasgow and the University of Tartu, where she studied women’s dissent in Soviet Russia. She also has a bachelor’s degree in literature from Yale. Some of her favorite Russian authors are Sorokin, Shishkin, Il’f and Petrov, and Akhmatova. In her spare time Julie cautiously practices martial arts, reads feminist websites, and taste-tests instant coffee for her blog.

Program attended: Home and Abroad Scholar

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