The Dark Side of the Sun
Avala Film, Cinequanon Pictures International Inc., USA, Canada, Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, 1988.
Rick Clayton (Brad Pitt) suffers from photosensitive skin. Exposure to sunlight may kill him so he must always wear Leather Mask and protective clothing. His family has moved to Yugoslavia in search for cure. While riding his motorcycle he finds an orphaned puppy and adopts it. Rick's father Walter (Guy Boyd) is also treating depressed mother (Milena Dravic).
|Dark Masked Rider|
Frances (Cheryl Pollak) is travelling with her theatre group. She sees the mysterious motorist. Rick goes to see the show. He meets Frances, but can not take off his mask. Tired with the ineffective treatments, Rick decides to remove the mask and live fully three days even if it kills him.
First he goes to beach to play with dolphins. Then he goes to town where no one recognises him. He Meets Frances again, but she wants to meet the Dark Masked Rider. Frances and masked man have fun with beach racing and they get friends from other bikers. Unmasked Rick invites Frances to sing at his dad's birthday party. Frances falls in love with the masked man not realizing that he is Rick. However Rick's skin develops sores and blisters and tragedy follows.
The film was shot in Yugoslavia just before the war broke out. Much of the footage went missing but was finally found in 1996. As a Movie it feels like usual TV-movie, not bad but not great either. The acting has low-budget feel making the tragic romance less effective than was intended. Brad Pitt in his first leading role looks a bit too pretty with perfect hair considering that he has been using a sweat-inducing leather mask for his whole life. It has some interesting footage of pre-war coastal Yugoslavia. There are some quirky side characters such as local man (Boro Begovic) who tries to stop smoking and having sex. Also Serbian cult actress Sonja Savic (1961-2008) has a small role as one of the bikers.
|Sonja Savic as biker|
Part of The 2016 Movie Watching Challenge (#31. Movie whose main character struggles with illness)
Starring: Guy Boyd, Brad Pitt, Cheryl Pollak, Constantin Nitchoff, Milena Dravic, Gorica Popovic, Sonja Savic, Nikola Jovanovic, Boro Begovic, Milan Sretenovic, Andjelo Arandjelovic, Sreten Mitrovic, Stole Arandjelovic, Ras Rastoder, Vladan Banovic, Milorad Novakovic, Pedja Rolovic, Vanja Vasic, Tatjana Vadnjal, Tanja Petric, Ana Savinov, Suzana Srdic, Slobodanka Djukanovic, Ljiljana Kupusovic, Isidora Mincic, Tatjana Srdic, Jelena Zigon, Jovana Nikolic, Petra Katanic, Odjila, Djordje David
Director: Bozidar 'Bota' Nikolic