During WWII in a small village outpost, a commander has his troop replaced by an all female unit. As they finally begin to appreciate one another, German paratroopers are spotted nearby and the realities of war emerge.
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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. Written by
A zori zdes tikhie (1972) ...aka The Dawns Here Are Quiet - is an honest, realistic and very fine Soviet War film which is sadly un-known to the Western audiences. It was directed by a very talented director Stanislav Rostotsky who also made two of my favorite films, Belyy Bim - Chyornoe ukho (1970) ... aka White Bim Black Ear and Dozhivyom do ponedelnika (1969) aka We'll Live Till Monday .
Rostotsky chose perfect cast - the young and unknown performers who all shone in his movie. I also highly recommend the book by Boris Vasilyev of the same title - I still remember the day when I first read that rather short but unforgettable story about five young girls and their corporal Vaskov who was much older and who was not used to deal with the women-soldiers. What started as a comedy, soon became a compelling and gripping drama depicting an unequal fight of the group of five women and their leader against 16 Nazi paratroopers, specially trained and deadly dangerous that penetrated deep beyond the front-line.
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