Reflecting on Sokurov’s other recent work – like “Russian Arc” for example – The Sun is a giant step down. It’s an outrageously long-winded drama that’s awfully directed with the skill of a high school play.
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This 2005 masterpiece by Russian filmmaker Alexander Sokurov transforms the story of Emperor Hirohito at the close of World War II into a melancholy meditation on power and its loss.
Though he successfully humanizes Hirohito, who is shown happily shedding his divinity, Sokurov doesn't entirely exonerate him. He contrives a shock ending that, as measured as everything else in this engrossing, supremely assured movie, acknowledges one last blood sacrifice on the emperor's altar.
Sokurov, who also acted as director of photography, films the character and his surroundings with the eye of a newly arrived visitor to another world.
The movie is best understood not in banal docudrama terms but as an impressionistic portrait of a man who, stripped of power, is revealed as grotesquely human.
This precision-controlled film once again highlights Alexander Sokurov's mastery of the medium. The third entry in his Men in Power series employs refined performances, a controlled script, excellent sound and fluid camerawork.
Fives us behind-the-scene looks at Hirohito, the man and the ruler. The diminutive leader comes off sympathetically, as a man concerned with the welfare of his people.