Alexandre SOKUROV
Александр СОКУРОВ
Alexandre SOKOUROV
Russia / France / Italy, 2005, 110mn 
Colour, fiction
The Sun
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 Le Soleil


Directed by : Alexandre SOKUROV ( Александр СОКУРОВ)
Writing credits : Yuri ARABOV (Юрий АРАБОВ)
Robert DAWSON (Роберт ДОУСОН) ...Général McArthur
Kaori MOMOI (Каори МОМОИ) ...L'Impératrice
Issei OGATA (Иссей ОГАТА) ...L'Empereur
Cinematography : Alexandre SOKUROV ( Александр СОКУРОВ)
Production design : Yelena ZHUKOVA (Елена ЖУКОВА)
Music : Andrey SIGLE (Андрей СИГЛЕ)
Production : Lenfilm, Nikola Film, Proline Film, Downtown Pictures (Italie) / Mast Production (France) / CTC / RAI Cinema (Italie) Istituto Luce (Italie) / Centre National de la Cinematographie (France)
Release date in Russia : 17/02/2005
format : 35 mm
Release date in France : 2006-03-01, Site

Awards :
Best feature film Festival Kinoblick, Stuttgart (Germany), 2006
Best Screenplay "NIKA" Prizes, Moscow (Russia), 2006
Best film Annual award of the Guild of Historians of Cinema and Film Critics, Moscow (Russia), 2005
Best directing Annual award of the Guild of Historians of Cinema and Film Critics, Moscow (Russia), 2005
Best music Andrey SIGLE , Annual award of the Guild of Historians of Cinema and Film Critics, Moscow (Russia), 2005
Prix du meilleur film au concours Lenfilm, 2005
Prix du meilleur film au Festival des festivals à Saint-Pétersbourg, 2007

DVD with subtitles
Editor : TF1 video

Plot synopsis
After portraying Hitler in MOLOCH, and Lenin in TAURUS, in his latest film, Aleksandr Sokurov turns his attentions to another historical figure – Japanese Emperor Hirohito – who takes a retrospective look at his own life. Japan in the summer of 1945. On 15 August, millions of Japanese hear the voice of their emperor for the first time. In his address to the nation, he commands his army and his people to cease all fighting. This announcement enables the Allies to land on Japan’s islands without encountering any form of resistance. With his appeal, the Emperor saves the lives of millions of Japanese who were prepared to fight to the death for their emperor and their country; it also saves the lives of thousands of Americans and Chinese, Britons and Russians. In spite of this act, the victorious powers insist that the Emperor appear before a military tribunal. Commander-in-chief of the American occupying forces in Japan, General Douglas McArthur, advises his own President not to declare Emperor Hirohito a war criminal. This film tells the story of the meetings between these two men. In his memoirs, McArthur 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. “I was shocked,” writes McArthur. “He may have been an Emperor by birth, but, at that moment I also realised that, in terms of his mental strength he was a gentleman, the first Japanese gentleman that I had ever met.” Shortly afterwards, Emperor Hirohito makes a speech in public in which he renounces his divine descent, becoming instead a “symbol of the state and the unity of the people”. Taking a similar stance, Sokurov’s film does not see Hirohito first and foremost as the 124th descendant of the sun goddess Amaterasu, but as a human being, deeply affected by the tragedy that besets his country.
Source :

Commentaries and bibliography
Le Soleil, d’Aleksandr Sokourov : la chute d’un astre,, 2020
The Most Significant Russian Films of the Last Decade [2005-2016], Academic Studies Press, 2019
Alexandre Sokourov, François ALBERA, Mishel ESTEVE, CinémaAction, Editions Charles Corlet, 2009
Прорва. Образ пространства в современной кинодраматургии, Yelena GRACHEVA,, 2009
Le Soleil - la critique. Soleil noir, Julien Elalouf,, 2006
Le Soleil d'Alexandre Sokourov, Jean-Luc LACUVE,, 2006
Interview Aleksandr Sokourov par Romain Le Vern, Interview,, 2006
Aleksandr Sokurov, The Sun [Solntse] (2004), José ALANIZ,, 2005
Мой друг Хирохито [О фильме Солнце], Oleg KOVALOV,, 2005

Selected in the following festivals or events :
- War in contemporary Russian cinema, (France), 2023
- Independant European Film Festival VOICES, Vologda (Russia), 2022
- Rétrospective Alexandre Sokourov Aix en Provence / Marseille, Aix en Provence (France), 2015
- Strasbourg two weeks of Russian cinema, Strasbourg (France), 2013
- The Russian Masters, Montreal (Canada), 2012
- Russian Film Week in Paris : Regards de Russie, Paris (France), 2012
- Soirées du cinéma russe de Bordeaux, Bordeaux (France), 2012
- Vesoul International Asiatic Film Festival, Vesoul (France), 2012
- Haifa International Film Festival, Haifa (Israel), 2012
- Cinéma russe au Kursaal de Besançon, Besançon (France), 2011
- Independant European Film Festival VOICES, Vologda (Russia), 2011
- Berlin International Film Festival : Berlinale, Berlin (Germany), 2010
- Europe around Europe, Paris (France), 2009
- Damascus International Film Festival, Damascus (Syria), 2008
- Days of Russian cinema in Valence, Valencia (France), 2006
- Nantes Russian Film Festival, Nantes (France), 2006
- Release in France of the film, Different cities (France), 2006-03-01
- Strasbourg two weeks of Russian cinema, Strasbourg (France), 2006
- Festival Kinoblick, Stuttgart (Germany), 2006
- Rotterdam International Film Festival, Rotterdam (Netherlands), 2006
- "NIKA" Prizes, Moscow (Russia), 2006
- Toronto International Film Festival, Toronto (Canada), 2005
- Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, Karlovy Vary (Czech Republic), 2005
- Paris International Film Festival, Paris (France), 2005
- Berlin International Film Festival : Berlinale, Berlin (Germany), 2005
- Russian Film Festival, Riga (Latvia), 2005
- Annual award of the Guild of Historians of Cinema and Film Critics, Moscow (Russia), 2005
- Festival "Vivat Kino Rossii", St Petersburg (Russia), 2005
- Open Russian Film Festival Kinotavr, Sochi (Russia), 2005
- Annual award of the Guild of Historians of Cinema and Film Critics, Moscow (Russia), 2005
- Edinburgh International Film Festival, Edinburgh (United Kingdom), 2005

Photos and videos