Burnt by the Sun 3: The Citadel

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Burnt by the Sun 3: The Citadel
Film poster
Directed byNikita Mikhalkov
Written byNikita Mikhalkov
Produced byNikita Mikhalkov
StarringNikita Mikhalkov
Oleg Menshikov
CinematographyVladislav Opelyants
Edited bySvetolik Zajc
Music byEduard Artemyev
Three T Productions
Distributed byCentral Partnership
Release date
  • 22 April 2011 (2011-04-22)
Running time
157 minutes
Budget$45 million
Box office$8.2 million[1]

Burnt by the Sun 3: The Citadel (Russian: Утомлённые солнцем 3: Цитадель, translit. Utomlyonnye solntsem 3: Citadel , also known as Battle of Kursk) is a 2011 Russian drama film directed, written, produced and starring by Nikita Mikhalkov, released on May 5, 2011. It is a sequel to the films Burnt by the Sun (1994) and Burnt by the Sun 2: Exodus (2010). Burnt by the Sun 3: The Citadel, like a predecessor, had the largest production budget ever seen in Russian cinema ($45 mln), but it turned out to be Russia's biggest box office flop, and received negative reviews from critics both in Russia and abroad. The film was selected as the Russian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 84th Academy Awards, but it was not nominated.


The film takes place in 1943 during the height of the Great Patriotic War. Mitya (Oleg Menshikov) finds Kotov (Nikita Mikhalkov) in the ranks of the penalty battalion, standing at the walls of an impregnable Citadel. Drunken general Melezhko orders the penal servicemen to attack the fortress, though this means certain death. Noticing Mitya and not wanting to meet him, Kotov, without waiting for the team,[clarification needed] raises the penalty boxers[clarification needed] to attack. Mitya is forced to undergo heavy fire from the enemy, since the trenches are not allowed to return[clarification needed] to the ZAG,[clarification needed] firing on the back stairs.[clarification needed] Mitya and Kotov remain unscathed. After the battle, taking Kotov to the rear, Mitya tells him everything that he did and gives him a gun. However, Kotov does not kill Mitya. Mitya reports that Kotov was rehabilitated and awarded the rank of Lieutenant-General.

Nadia, by that time shell-shocked, serves in the medical unit. The truck with the wounded and pregnant woman in which she rides falls under the bombardment of German aviation. Despite the bomb, which fell two meters from the truck, she remains unscathed. The wounded give birth and call the child (whose father is a German) by Joseph Vissarionovich,[clarification needed] in honor of Stalin.

Mitya and Kotov come to the dacha where the commander once lived with his family (the house that appears in Burnt by the Sun). However, no one expected Kotov, since it was believed that he was shot. Marusya (Viktoria Tolstoganova) is raising a child from Kirik (Vladimir Ilyin). The arrival of Kotov violates the peace of the household, and the next day, the whole family decides to leave secretly. The general overtakes them at the station, but lets them go, as he begs Marusya to stay.

Later, Stalin orders Kotov to carry out a complicated and almost doomed operation: to lead 15,000 civil men,[clarification needed] who for various reasons avoided participation in hostilities, into a frontal attack on the Citadel so that the defenders would spend ammunition on it,[clarification needed] a storm to the Citadel with low losses among soldiers.[clarification needed] If successful Stalin promises to give Kotov the army command.

Meanwhile, Mitya is arrested and accused of espionage and preparing an assassination attempt on Stalin. He is relieved to sign the protocols for a death sentence, as he has long awaited death. Those who arrived in civil trenches[clarification needed] are given shanks from shovels.

Kotov must give the order for the offensive, descends into the trenches and slowly goes to the Citadel. The fall of the corpse of a German soldier accidentally causes a fire in the citadel, causing it to explode. In the last scene, Kotov is a Hero of the Soviet Union and rides with Nadia on a tank at the head of a tank column of Soviet troops heading for Berlin.


In September 2011, the Russian Film Committee selected Burnt by the Sun 3: Citadel as the Russian nominee for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.[2][3] This move was followed with protests and disagreement from many filmmakers, including another Academy Awards recipient Vladimir Menshov and Mikhalkov's brother, director Andrey Konchalovsky.[4][5] The film was not included in the Oscar's short list.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Box Office Mojo Burnt by the Sun 3: The Citadel". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 16 August 2011.
  2. ^ ""Цитадель" Михалкова выдвинута на "Оскар"". Penza. Retrieved 19 September 2011.
  3. ^ "63 Countries Vie for 2011 Foreign Language Film Oscar". oscars.org. Retrieved 14 October 2011.
  4. ^ Anger as Mikhalkov's Flop Wins Oscar NodThe Moscow Times
  5. ^ Russian critics brand Burnt By the Sun 2: Citadel 'inappropriate' for Oscar nomination raceThe Guardian

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