Nikita Mikhalkov, writer, director, actor, and producer, has finally presented the World War II sequel that he’s been working on for nearly a decade. Burnt in the Sun 2 debuted at the State Kremlin Palace and with a budget of $55 million, this epic war drama has become the most expensive Russian film in history.
The original 1994 film was widely acclaimed, winning an Academy Award for Best Foreign Film and the grand prize at the Cannes Film Festival. Many of the same actors reprise their roles for the sequel, including Mikhalkov himself as the main character and his real life daughter as his daughter in the film. There are also many cameos by some of the best Russian actors in cinema today.
Set during the first 2 years of the Second World War, the film is not about the victory, but rather focuses on the horrific conditions under which the deadly victory had been achieved. The director describes it as his “attempt of telling the story of WWII with an intense desire to arouse and incite national immunity to life and capability to be joyful at present rather than in the unknown future.”
Mikhalkov had planned to show the first part of the sequel on Victory Day, May 9th, but he decided to start celebrating the 65th anniversary of this victorious holiday right away. A second part of the film is rumored to still be in the editing phase and should premiere later this year. Burnt in the Sun 2 will be released in Russian movie theaters on April 22nd and will also be included in this year’s Cannes Film Festival.