Published on June 22nd, 2010 | by Chris0
The Sun (2005)
The Sun is a distinctly, well, curious movie. It follows Emperor Hirohito through the final days of the war, as he lives them out isolated in his bunker beneath the Imperial Palace, and then during discussions with General MacArthur.
I suppose the obvious comparison to any other film would be Downfall, or any other film chronicling Hitler's last days in his Berlin bunker. The difference here is that while Hitler is pretty much portrayed as the lunatic he was, here, Hirohito is portrayed in a seemingly sympathetic light. As a tired, strange, little old man, puttering about by himself in his bunker, studying marine biology and going about his business as if nothing is happening. But even he knows that's not the case, and that he's basically powerless at this point, in every respect. He pretty much questions his own "divinity" as the Emperor, and in fact, his right to lead anyone. Culminating in an almost (almost) humorous series of encounters with MacArthur, and finally reuniting with his wife and left to live happily ever after.
That pretty much sums it up. But strangely enough its not all that bad a film. Is it true in any way? I can't say. Interesting to be sure, though.
It's notable that this is a Russian produced film, and that it also tends to portray the occupying Americans in a negative light. For the most part they're shown to be generally racist and denigrating towards about any Japanese they encounter, including the Emperor himself. ("Oh, you need *me* to open the door!" he says in a condescending voice.) Even more curious is the attention paid to the relationship between the Japanese-American interpreter and his deference to the Emperor. Yeah, I'm not sure I understand the significance of that bit, either.
It'll leave you scratching your head a bit when it's over, but like I said, its not a bad movie. If nothing else check it out just for the perspective shown here.
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Alexander Sokurov s fascinating and compelling film chronicles the events leading up to Hirohito s momentous speech, the historic renunciation of his divine status and his meetings with General Douglas MacArthur, the commander-in-chief of the occupying American forces, who advises his own President not to declare the Japanese leader a war criminal.
DVD InformationBinding: DVD
Audience Rating: Unrated (Not Rated)
Brand: Kino International
Manufacturer: Lorber Films
Original Release Date:
- Robert Dawson
- Kaori Momoi
- Shiro Sano
- Shinmei Tsuji
- Factory sealed DVD
Summary: The Sun is a distinctly, well, curious movie. It follows Emperor Hirohito through the final days of the war, as he lives them out isolated in his bunker beneath the Imperial Palace, and then during discussions with General MacArthur.