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One of the best accounts of a few days from the WWII
This mini-series provides a detailed account of several days of intense fighting on the Eastern Front during one of the Soviet offensives. For those of you not interested in military history this is still a good chance to get acquainted with the style and spirit of Soviet/Russian war films.
Comparable with other classics of Soviet war cinema, such as "They fought for the Motherland", "Batalyony" portrays war without embellishment or pomp. It's not gory or excessively violent in the portrayal, but as the plot develops the simple and yet immense tragedy of humans trapped in a deadly meat grinder speaks louder than expensive special effects of super-human stunt tricks.
A brilliant performance by Zbruyev, Brondukov and Sklyar, whose names might not mean much to the Western audience, but whose careers in the Soviet cinema are inextricably linked with this series.
I would highly recommend "Batalyony" to those who liked the "Thin Red Line" or "Blackhawk Down". The same message of the importance of understated individual courage and faithfulness to one's brothers in arms prevails here. Do not expect the pathos of "Enemy at the Gates" from this series. It is simply a must for those who would really like to learn more about Russian culture and a highly enjoyable one too.
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