The film is set in the city of Krasnodon in 1942 during the Nazi occupation of Russia. Local teenagers are organizing the underground resistance. The teens manage to outsmart the Nazis in ... See full summary »
Surrounded by a few party officials, Alexei Ivanov, a stakhanovist smelter, is decorated by Stalin. The "Little Father of the Peoples" takes this opportunity to invoke threats of war.... ... See full summary »
"Stalingrad" is a heavy-handed propaganda film made by the Soviet government in 1949 with three unstated goals: 1. Glorify the Russian war effort and sacrifices that led to the defeat of the Nazis in WWII; 2. Warn the free world of the folly of opposing communism; 3. Give credit to Joseph Stalin as the mastermind behind Russia's WWII victory.
The first goal is a worthy one, because no nation suffered the losses Russia did - an estimated 25 million killed! But the losses portrayed in the film are sterile, as if plastic toy soldiers are being knocked down by marbles. This is because the soldiers actually fighting the battle appear only as extras instead of as actual characters. The only real characters in the movie are the always calm, unanimated Stalin, his entourage of child-like kiss-ass generals, and the over-the-top German leaders they battle against. The battle scenes do not appear realistic, despite the thousands of soldiers and hundreds of authentic tanks, planes, artillery pieces, etc. used in epic fashion. This is probably because of poor directing combined with terrible acting.
The second goal was marginally achieved through the vast military might displayed on the screen. But history clearly warns that invading Russia is a risky proposition, especially in Winter, so additional warnings are unnecessary.
The third goal was undoubtedly the real reason for the movie. Historians know that Stalin was a murderous thug who rose to power as any gangster does, by simply eliminating anyone who opposes him. He was only good for killing fellow Russians, not Germans. Marshal Zhukov was the mastermind in Russia's war against Germany and he was the true hero of Stalingrad. By removing Zhukov from the limelight after WWII Stalin eliminates a possible political threat while assuming the credit for Germany's defeat.
"Stalingrad" is not a good movie, but it is an interesting historical relic. It illustrates that lies, no matter how artistically packaged, will eventually be exposed.
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