The story of a man (Andrey Sokolov) whose life was ruthlessly crippled by World War II. His wife and daughters were killed during the bombing of his village, he spent some time as a ... See full summary »
A fascinating and human portrayal of a once-famous fighter pilot and loyal Stalinist named Nadezhda Petrovna. Now a 41-year-old provincial schoolmistress, she has so internalized the ... See full summary »
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 ... See full summary »
In the old days it was called hypochrondria, or black melancholia. Now, apparently, it's termed the Asthenic Syndrome. Whatever it is, Nikolai, a teacher of epicly indifferent pupils, has ... See full summary »
War correspondent Lopatin takes a 20-day-leave from his hard work at the front in 1942. He travels to faraway Tashkent to meet the family of the killed soldier and visit the film set of the screen adaptation of his war-time stories. Lopatin also manages to walk the streets of Tashkent, take part in a factory workers' meeting and have a short-lived love affair. Although with no bombings and fighting, the city dwellers breathe the atmosphere of the ongoing war. Written by
possibly one of the best WWII-themed films I've ever seen
"Twenty Days without War" is one of the very few "cinema-verite" style films made on the topic of World War II, specifically the Soviet home front. Based on the life of famous war correspondent and poet Konstantin Simonov (who himself narrates off-screen at the opening and closing sequences), this remarkable film follows the venerable Yuri Nikulin, playing a Simonov-like character who is granted a 20-day leave to visit the Uzbek city of Tashkent (one of the major evacuation centers during the war, where the Soviet cinema studios were moved). Part of his journey's purpose is to advise the filming of a propagandistic screen version of one of his stories. Many of the sequences here are shot almost documentary-style, with such unpretentiousness and candor, as if the real war participants and victims were actually interviewed on screen. And yet, lyrical and even poetic moments are also glimpsed, albeit in amazingly unforced, unsentimental fashion. Most of the actors, including Nikulin himself, lived through or fought in the war, and their intention, as well as the director's must have been to deliver a hitherto-unknown, "you are there" immediacy to the audience. They splendidly succeed, as the film, like no other of its kind, brings to life the reminiscences of my grandparents, who experienced both the fighting and the evacuation. In fact, it remains my grandmother's all-time favorite war film because of the honesty of its emotions and the truthful spirit of the period it conveys.
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