#4: I don't have too much to add to my original comments on Alexander Sokurov's The Sun, but one thing did occur to me recently. It's been said that Sokurov is a political conservative. I've read no concrete evidence of this, although I will say that when dealing with the fall of bureaucratic communism, the usual political spectrum isn't always very useful. Ostensibly far-left, Soviet Communism eventually employed highly oppressive tactics to insure its own maintenance, and resistance to this oppression took many forms. Being an anti-Communist Russian (which Sokurov seems to be) does not in itself make one a conservative.

In any case, The Sun is Sokurov's muted, world-weary tale of Emperor Hirohito, a man forced to renounce the alleged divinity that his lineage in the Japanese monarchy afforded him. In doing so, Hirohito allows his troops to surrender without fear of damnation. I find it a cruelly droll political irony that in 2005 Sokurov has made a film depicting a world leader severing his mystificatory bond with the deity, just as the leader of the free world works overtime to establish his own pipeline to the heavens. When the president talks to God, just as when the Emperor is mistaken for God, the result is the same. The Sun is a work of speculative fiction whose rarefied historical aura may inadvertently disguise its regrettable timeliness.