RUSSIA / ITALY / SWITZERLAND/ FRANCE – 2005 – 118 MIN – COLOUR - FEATURE - IN ENGLISH & JAPANESE
A FILM BY ALEXANDER SOKUROV
THE SUN by acclaimed Russian filmmaker Alexander Sokurov is the third in a trilogy on pivotal historic figures that have held "ultimate power". Following Moloch (on Hitler) and Taurus (on Lenin), this bold new work takes as its subject Emperor Hirohito (Issey Ogata), in the summer of 1945 during the Allied occupation of Japan.
￼On the 15th of August, 1945 millions of Japanese heard the voice of their Emperor for the first time when he made an appeal to his army and his people to cease all fighting. He publicly renounced his divine lineage as the 124th descendant of the 'Goddess of Sun Amaterasu' thereby saving the lives of millions of Japanese who were prepared to die for their divine Emperor. The film reproduces the Emperor's meetings with the American Commander-in-chief, General Douglas MacArthur (Robert Dawson). In his memoirs, MacArthur wrote that the Emperor was prepared to accept responsibility for the actions of his government and his army although he was well aware that the consequences for him would be trial and death.
Alexander Sokurov's unique style has been credited to visual splendour, hermetic intensity and a sense of suspended time found within his films. Sokurov has over 30 features, documentaries and shorts to his credit, including RUSSIAN ARK (2002). Hailed as a masterpiece, and set in The Hermitage in St. Petersburg, the film is a lush meditation on history, art and Russia, with all of the film's 97 minutes shot in one single, unyielding take.