Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Sun

Sokurov, 2004

This movie is a study of the life of the Japanese emperor around the period of Japan's defeat and surrender in WW2. He is a figure remote and cloistered, sheltered from the glare of publicity even as he exercises a hard to gauge influence in the framing of decisions. He emerges as a cultivated individual, who, while lacking in any particular charisma of his own, occupies a paramount position in the minds and emotions of the citizens, as a godlike head of state. It seems difficult for an outsider to understand the nature of the feelings he aroused. As an aftermath of the traumatic act of surrender, he renounces his supposed divine origin. The film is more about the individual and the institution of monarchy than the momentous events in which he played an important role. An absorbing if not riveting account of the enigmatic historical personage.

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