Burnt by the Sun 2 (Russian: Утомлённые солнцем 2, translit. Utomlyonnye solntsem 2: Predstoyanie) is a 2010 Russian drama film directed by and starring Nikita Mikhalkov.
The film consists of two parts: Exodus (2010; Предстояние, literally ‘Prestanding’) and The Citadel (2011; Цитадель).
It is the sequel to Mikhalkov’s 1994 film Burnt by the Sun, set in the Eastern Front of World War II.
The film begins in June 1941. Five years have passed since the lives and destinies of Colonel Sergei Petrovich Kotov, his wife Maroussia, their daughter Nadia, as well as those of Mitya and the Sverbitski family, were irrevocably changed: it has meant five years of incarceration for General Kotov (Nikita Mikhalkov), the former Revolutionary hero betrayed by Stalin. He escapes certain death in the Gulag and fights on the Eastern Front as a private.
It has been five years of terror for his wife Maroussia, without the husband she believes is dead and with a daughter who has rejected her. Nadia has spent five years in hiding, proud of her father whom she refuses to disown and whom she believes is alive, despite all reports to the contrary.
Mitya (Oleg Menshikov) survived his suicide attempt, and reluctantly continues to execute the orders of a regime he holds in contempt. Stalin, with his nation under attack by former ally Adolf Hitler, recalls many of those whom he has had exiled to the GULAG. He tries to mobilise the Soviet population – by any means necessary – to rise against the threat of Nazism.
- Nikita Mikhalkov as Col. Sergei Petrovich Kotov.
- Oleg Menshikov as Mitya.
- Dmitri Dyuzhev as Vanya.
- Vladimir Ilyin as Kirik.
- Yevgeny Mironov as Izyumov.
- Nadezhda Mikhalkova as Nadya.
- Andrey Merzlikin as Nikolaj.
- Andrey Panin as Kravets.
- Sergei Makovetsky as Lunin.
- Valeri Zolotukhin as chief foreman Pindurin, commander of the barge.
- Sergei Garmash as father Alexander (credited as legless sergeant on the barge).
- Maria Shukshina as Zinaida Vasilyevna.
- Aleksandr Adabashyan as Igor, party functionary.
- Aleksei Petrenko as elderly lieutenant-accountant.
- Artur Smolyaninov as Yurok.
- Yevgeny Stychkin as senior lieutenant-sapper who committed a penalty.
- Maksim Sukhanov as Stalin.
- Alexey Buldakov as Semyon Budyonny.
- Valentin Gaft as Pimen, Jewish inmate.
- Rimma Markova as sanitarium worker.
- Daniil Spivakovsky as commander of the crossing.
- Igor Shmakov as cadet Gosha.
- Viktoriya Tolstoganova as Marusia.
- Angelina Mirimskaya as Lyuba.
- Tagir Rakhimov as cameo.
The film received mostly negative reviews from both Russian and western critics. It was panned for historical inaccuracies, retconning, bad acting and other failures. It was criticised for abruptly breaking with the continuity of the first film, including mysteriously resurrecting characters presumed dead and changing their ages. For example, according to the first film, Nadia would have been 11 in 1941, but she is portrayed as an adult.
Critics panned many provocative episodes, such as a German pilot defecating on a Soviet ship, or Kotov’s dipping Stalin into a cake. The Russian media reviews were especially hostile to the film, because of its revisionist portrayal of Soviet army and Soviet leaders.
- Burnt by the Sun 2 had the largest production budget ever seen in Russian cinema ($55m), but it turned out to be Russia’s biggest box office flop, and received negative reviews from critics both in Russia and abroad.
- The film was screened at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival and was allowed to compete for awards, although it had premiered before the festival.
- At Cannes it received a standing ovation, but no awards.
- In September 2011, the Russian Film Committee selected Burnt by the Sun 2: Citadel as the Russian nominee for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
- This move was followed with protests and disagreement from many filmmakers, including another Academy Awards recipient Vladimir Menshov and Mikhalkov’s brother, director Andrey Konchalovsky.
- The film was not included in the Oscar’s short list.
Production & Filming Details
- Director(s): Nikita Mikhalkov.
- Aleksey Balashov … executive producer.
- Sergei Gurevich … executive producer.
- Aleksey Karpushin … line producer.
- Nikita Mikhalkov … general producer.
- Aleksandr Utkin … line producer.
- Leonid Vereshchagin … producer.
- Yekaterina Yakovleva … line producer.
- Nikita Mikhalkov.
- Vladimir Moiseenko.
- Aleksandr Novototskiy-Vlasov.
- Gleb Panfilov.
- Music: Eduard Artemyev.
- Cinematography: Vladislav Opelyants.
- Editor(s): Svetolik Zajc.
- Three T Productions.
- Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation (in association with).
- Golden Eagle.
- Distributor(s): Central Partnership (2010) (Russia) (theatrical).
- Release Date: 17 April 2010 (Kremlin, Moscow) and 22 may 2010 (Cannes International Film Festival).
- Running time: 135 minutes.
- Rating: 15.
- Country: France and Russia.
- Language: Russian.