Director of photography:
The film is based on two literary pieces by Ivan Bunin – Sunstroke, a short story, and the Russian writer’s chronicles, Cursed Days. The story is interwoven by contrasts – memories of the 1907 splendor on one side and tragic events of 1920, when Russia was ravaged by the revolution and civil war, on the other. Anticipating his fate, a decommissioned White Guard officer, recalls moments of unconditional happiness: a steamboat on the Volga River and a brief love affair.
Nikita Mikhalkov is a Russian film director and actor. As a teenager, he was on his way to become a Soviet acting star. He enrolled at the Gerasimov Institute to study film directing. Already with his second feature, A Slave of Love (1976), based on the last days of Russian silent-film star Vera Kholodnaya, the young Mikhalkov gained international recognition as a director. His next film, An Unfinished Piece for Player Piano (1977) was an adaptation of Chekhov’s often-neglected first play. Mikhalkov received Golden Lion in Venice for Close to Eden (1991) aka Urga, which portrays a little known world of Inner Mongolia. Burnt by the Sun (1994) received both the Grand-Prix in Cannes and the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. For The Barber of Siberia (1998) he was awarded the Russian State Prize. His recent films include 12 (2008), an update of Sydney Lumet’s classic courtroom drama, and Burnt by the Sun 2 (2010), an epic which premiered at the Cannes festival. Throughout his filmmaking, he also pursued an acting career. He starred in films by directors such as Mikhail Kalatozov, Aleksei Balabanov, Andrey Konchalovsky as well as in his own ones.