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Turned Towards the Sun

By RUTH BROWN
Turned Towards the Sun moves at a very slow pace—necessarily so, as it follows 96-year-old Michael Burn as he shuffles around significant locations from his life. And yet the speed feels at odds with a man who really lived the hell out of those years. Over his life, Burns did the following: grew up in a house directly across from Buckingham Palace, where his father was a confidant of the king; hobnobbed with the Mitford sisters, through whom he met Hitler and briefly dabbled in fascism; switched allegiances to communism; had a love affair with Soviet spy Guy Burgess; served as a commando in the British Army during World War II and took part in a successful raid in German-occupied France; was captured by the Nazis and incarcerated as a POW at Colditz; apparently saved a young Audrey Hepburn's life; worked as a journalist for The Times of London; and subsequently became a published poet, author and playwright. These details slowly drip out as the documentary follows Burns in the final years of his life, during which he revisits France and Germany and ambles around his home in Wales, all the while reciting poems and offering up interesting anecdotes from his near-century on earth. But the focus is more on capturing the character of the man than the totality of his story, and viewers may wish they had Wikipedia at hand to fill in the blanks. Still, like its subject, Greg Oliver’s film is quietly charming in its own way, and beneath a very humble exterior, there is a fascinating story waiting to be revealed if you're patient enough (and OK—a smartphone with Wikipedia helps).
 

Special Note

Clinton Street Theater 
 
  • Genres: Documentary
  • Country: United Kingdom
  • Language: English
  • Critic's Score: B
  • Directed by: Greg Olliver [Director], James Dorrian [Producer], Nick Golding [Producer], Laura Morris [Producer], Greg Olliver [Producer], J. Ralph [Original Music], Greg Olliver [Cinematographer], Greg Olliver [Film Editor]
  • Watch the trailer
 

Show Times

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