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In a peaceful Ukrainian village, the school year is just ending in June 1941. Five young friends set out for a walking trip to Kiev, but their travels are brutally interrupted when they are suddenly attacked by German planes, in the first wave of the Nazi assault on the Soviet Union. When the village itself is attacked and occupied, most of the men flee to the hills to form a guerrilla unit. The others resist the Nazis as well as possible, but soon the village is placed under the command of a Nazi doctor who begins using the town's children as a source of constant blood transfusions for wounded German soldiers. Meanwhile, the small group of young persons tries desperately to take a supply of firearms to the guerrillas. Written by
As the group of children leaves town for Kiev, they are shown walking past the same house twice in succession. See more »
[Kolya gets ready to start his crippled plane's bombing run]
Kolya Simonov, air force man:
Now get ready for it. This is going to be for my father, for me, for my village and for people I've never seen. Those are big words... I guess I'll have to stand by them now. I'm coming down and it's going to hurt you! And I'm coming down just where I want to, because I was a good bombadier and a good pilot, too!
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My parents took me to see this film at the Rex cinema in Hanworth England in 1943. I was 6 years old! About half way through the film, there was an air raid. We had to leave the cinema and go to a shelter. I remember the story and especially the song, which the children were singing on the cart. The film has been shown many times on television, but I have never been able to watch it. I guess that this must have some connection with the air raid. I am now 74 years old and the film is being shown again on television tomorrow afternoon. I hope to finally be able to watch it all the way through, at long last and lay to rest whatever has prevented me doing so previously.
I have finally seen this film to the end! Not bad after 68 years. I now realise why it made such an impression on me. In the film, the children and some adults were bombed and machine gunned by aircraft, after jumping from the carts into a ditch. It was at this point that we had to leave the cinema because of an air raid, having just seen children killed on the screen. I had already experienced many air raids at the age of 3 years and 9 months, during the Septmber 1940 Blitz and I still have vivid memories of the bombing, destruction and fires. Am I correct, or is my memory failing in that I believe the original title for the U.K release was 'The Red Star'???
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