The White Sun of Desert

Белое солнце пустыни
Director: Vladimir Motyl

USSR, Action film, comedy, 1969, 85 min

Demobbed Red Army soldier Fyodor Sukhov is making his way through the desert to his home village, where the band of brutal Abdulla is raging. Sukhov is charged with escorting the chief's harem, but Abdulla intended to kill his women rather than let them go free. Sukhov’s mate, the young soldier Petrukha, dies at the hand of Abdulla, but at a decisive moment, Sukhov gets help from the former customs officer Vereschchagin and a poor peasant. “The White Sun of the Desert” was to be the Soviet answer to the popular American Western. Today the film is considered to be among the most popular Soviet cult films.

About the director:
Vladimir Motyl (1927–2010) was born in Lepiel, in contemporary Belarus. He was a film director and screenwriter. Motyl and his mother were exiled to the Northern Urals, where he became fascinated by the theater and cinema, and later graduated from the Sverdlovsk Theatrical Institute. For about 10 years he worked in various theaters in the Urals and Siberia. Eventually, despite having no technical qualifications, he directed his first film, “Children of Pamirs” (Дети Памира, 1963) in Tajikistan. This work was met with public success, as well as earning him the State Prize of Tajik SSR (1964), and the title of honorary citizen of Dushanbe (1977). After his first success he was invited to direct “The White Sun of the Desert”.
Section: Red Westerns

Screenplay: Valentin Ezhov, Rustam Ibragimbekov, Mark Zakharov

Dir. of Photography: Eduard Rozovsky

Music: Isaak Schwarz

Cast: Raisa Kurkina, Anatoly Kuznetsov, Spartak Mishulin, Pavel Luspekaev, Kakhi Kavsadze, Tatiana Fedotova