Burning Bush Image
Metascore
83

Universal acclaim - based on 8 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 5 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Summary: In protest of the Soviet occupation, Jan Palach, a student of the Charles University's Faculty of Arts, set himself on fire in Prague's Wenceslas Square on the 16th of January 1969, and died four days later. Through the story of the brave defense attorney Dagmar Buresova, who defendedIn protest of the Soviet occupation, Jan Palach, a student of the Charles University's Faculty of Arts, set himself on fire in Prague's Wenceslas Square on the 16th of January 1969, and died four days later. Through the story of the brave defense attorney Dagmar Buresova, who defended Palach's legacy in a doomed lawsuit, the film examines the transformations taking place in Czechoslovak society after the invasion of the armies of the Warsaw Pact in August of 1968. It depicts the beginnings of Czech and Slovak resistance against the occupation, which reached its apex with the mass protests during Palach's funeral. It also shows the nation's gradual resignation under the pressure of fear and harsher persecution. [Kino Lorber] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 8
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 8
  3. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. Reviewed by: Scout Tafoya
    Jun 13, 2014
    100
    In the end, all that can be relied upon are objects and gestures. The littlest things that tie us to each other. The film often slows to a standstill to show children playing, cars passing, people talking and streets emptied of traffic.
  2. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Jun 10, 2014
    90
    Ms. Holland, working from a script by Stepan Hulik, a Czech screenwriter born in 1984, turns a sprawling story into a tight and suspenseful ethical thriller.
  3. Reviewed by: Rodrigo Perez
    Jun 13, 2014
    83
    Political thriller, procedural, emotional drama and rousing cry for basic human rights and values.
  4. Reviewed by: Alan Scherstuhl
    Jun 10, 2014
    80
    For all the hurtling plot, and its occasional workaday scenecraft, Burning Bush proves an engrossing historical drama, low-key but in its final moments devastating.
  5. Reviewed by: Stephen Dalton
    Jun 10, 2014
    80
    A deluxe multi-character drama that blends real history with semi-fictionalized spy thriller and soap opera elements, Burning Bush feels in places like an extended Czech remake of the Cold War-themed German Oscar-winner The Lives of Others.
  6. Reviewed by: Ela Bittencourt
    Jun 10, 2014
    75
    The decentralized narrative benefits from the film's original conception as a miniseries, with plenty of time to draw us into the morass that was the communist state.
  7. Reviewed by: Mike D'Angelo
    Jun 11, 2014
    75
    On the whole, though, Burning Bush is an absorbing docudrama that maintains a gratifying equilibrium between hope and cynicism. You can fight City Hall. It just takes a while.

See all 8 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Mar 12, 2015
    7
    If only Holland chose a different actress to play the role of Dagmar Buresova, the movie would be flawless. Choosing Slovak sex symbol to theIf only Holland chose a different actress to play the role of Dagmar Buresova, the movie would be flawless. Choosing Slovak sex symbol to the play the lead role was unwise, as actress’s visuals steal attention from intended features that Dagmar Buresova’s character should have displayed to win the hearts of the viewers. Moreover, all the deals, made between Buresova and key political (male) figures, looked like products of former’s attractiveness while they were clearly products of her professionalism. The way the actress presented Buresova’s character was inappropriate, starting from aggressive make up to tight outfit and heels. When female traits are accentuated like that, the character turns into a sexual object and her other qualifications no longer capture viewer’s attention. Furthermore, it all diminished the role of Czech nationalism in the climate of Soviet domination. The choice of cast is critically important if director wants to convey a certain message. The message most viewers probably received this time was that Dagmar Buresova, another hero of Palach’s case, was very sexy lady. Expand