I saw this many, many years ago under the title "Attack and Retreat". It is about the Italian participation in World War II on the Eastern Front - where Mussolini sent soldiers to die for his own grandiose vision of himself as an equal partner in German conquest.
I'm not able to recall many details, but there are a number of remarkable scenes that stand out in my memory. One was of a young soldier and a Russian girl in a field of high wheat. Quiet bullets whisper through the windblown stalks in deadly counterpoint to the young love of the boy and girl. In another scene Peter Falk, looking very small and lonely in a bleak and forbidding landscape of snow and ice, struggles to get to the rear while artillery rockets streak through the sky behind him. In still another scene, an Italian guard plays the Internationale on his harmonica to show some human solidarity to a group of Russian civilian prisoners. A mocking German guard demands that the prisoners sing, and a singer stands up to sing.
Shot in very striking black and white, it was an effective antiwar and anti-fascist film with powerful visuals and a strong message of humanity.
I liked it very much and wish it were shown more often.
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