In 1994, Russian director Nikita Mikhalkov won the Prix du Jury for Burnt by the Sun (Utomlyonnye Solntsem). Sixteen years later, he is presenting in Competition his film The Exodus – Burnt by the Sun 2, which traces the tragic destiny of General Serguei Kotov. The film will be screened at the Grand Théâtre Lumière at 8:30 and 19:00.
General Serguei Kotov returns to Cannes. Sixteen years ago, the first film dealing with the story of this figure from the Bolshevik Revolution, who was detested by Stalin’s regime, ended with the General’s arrest and imprisonment. But five years have passed and in the summer of 1941, the arrival of the German army on the roads of the USSR makes it possible for him to escape from the camp where he is being held prisoner. Assumed dead by the regime, he signs up incognito in a battalion of volunteers who are sent to the front.
As in Burnt by the Sun, director Nikita Mikhalkov plays the dissident General and answers to Oleg Menchikov, in the role of the agent Mitya. Through Serguei Kotov’s fate, the director looks back on the conditions of the Soviet army’s victory during the Second World War. “The Exodus” is an attempt to awaken the conscience of young people, if only for a moment, to the price we paid to vanquish the enemy in the Second World War. To forget that would be criminal”, Nikita Mikhalkov explains. After The Barber of Siberia, screened Out of Competition in 1999, The Exodus is his sixth film to be presented in Cannes.