Appreciation for a film, little known in the West, which despite propaganda influences and State interference, is entertaining and moving.
Having much enjoyed this film I had the benefit of seeing and interview with the director, Vladimir Fokin.. Clearly there was lot of state interference from both USSR and DDR in the production and, although he had some scenes cut, I think he deserves high praise for the outcome. He explained that some of the German children in the cast actually came from children's homes. He also explained the symbolic significance of the title role, a peripheral character to say the least! I don't think the film has been seen much in the West and that is a shame because I think it would have wide appeal despite the ideological influences behind it. Having read about the period depicted, I believe the plot is credible if not based on a true story. The Russian characters are sympathetically portrayed and I understand that, despite, the horrors of the last days of the war, including ill-treatment of the civilian population, there was some gratitude from the people of the Berlin area for the way the first Commander of the occupying forces: General BERSARIN restored discipline where necessary amongst the troops, restored civil society and fed the people.
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