Thursday, April 03, 2008

Best Russian War films

1. Come and See

Brutal is an over-used term, but perfect for one of the most deeply affecting war movies ever made. Filmed in a frequently lyrical, disorientating style, 'Come and See' views the Eastern Front through the eyes of a child partisan, showing the Nazi atrocities in all their horror

2. The Dawns Here Are Quiet

Based on the eponymous book by Boris Vasilyev, the film is set in Karelia (North-West of Russia, near Finland) in 1941 during WWII. In a beautiful and quiet wilderness far from the front-line there is an anti-aircraft artillery point, where corporal Vaskov is stationed with a group of many young women in training. One of the women while sneaking from camp to visit her young son sees two German paratroopers. Vaskov takes five of the women to stop the two paratroopers, but finds sixteen paratroopers instead, leaving the small group of patriots to engage the enemy in an unequal fight.

3. War and Peace

Eight-hour epic based on the eponymous book by Leo Tolstoy. Two main story-lines are complex and intertwined. One is the love story of young Countess Natasha Rostova and Count Pierre Bezukhov, who is unhappy in his marriage. Another is the “Great Patriotic War” of 1812 against the invading Napoleon’s Armies. The people of Russia from all classes of society stand up united against the enemy. The 500,000 strong Napoleon’s army moves through Russia and causes much destruction culminating in the battle of Borodino.

4. Our own

It is August 1941. With the battle line far away in the east, three soldiers who have managed to escape from captivity find it difficult to hide: the territory is occupied by the enemy. The local woods are not safe: you can easily get embogged. Are the villagers loyal? Nobody can say. There is an old man who offers to help them. Is he reliable enough? He may kill them or report them to the local German authorities. Anything may happen, but one of them, the sniper, is his son who is his youngest, his dearest.

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