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André De Toth
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Reginald Le Borg
Howard Da Silva
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
I saw "The North Star" when I was a child of 6 or 7 and it made a lasting impression on me. I believe older cousins took me to see it while they were baby sitting. I will say without hesitation that it was not intended as a movie for children and that is as true today as it was in 1943. For years I could vividly remember scenes from the movie but did not remember the title. I happened to see it on TV by pure chance late one night during the '70s. I think it was about halfway through the film before I realized what I was watching, but from there on everything was as I remembered it.
It might correctly be labeled a propaganda film as it was made during a time when we were engaged in WWII. Germany was our enemy and Russia was our ally. As the saying goes, "war makes strange bed fellows." The Nazi war machine is depicted as evil and Russians are shown as innocent victims. Both are indisputable facts. The purpose of the film may have been to propagandize just how evil we believed the Nazis to be but we see films like that all the time. One example, "Empire of the Sun" (1987), a very fine film by Steven Spielberg. That was also an evil empire. Its not considered propaganda now because the war is long over. Its "art." Some might consider "JFK" as a lot of propaganda. Oliver Stone considers it "art".
If one is interested in films of historical periods, such as WWII, this might certainly be a film of interest.
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