The film opens with a scene of an Islamic circumcision. After the opening credits, a line of Mujahedin are shown approaching a roadway where a squad of Soviet soldiers has been slaughtered.... See full synopsis »
The film opens with a scene of an Islamic circumcision. After the opening credits, a line of Mujahedin are shown approaching a roadway where a squad of Soviet soldiers has been slaughtered... See full synopsis »
Psychologically-deep but tactically-shallow war film
Well, the movie is basically about the last days of a specific Russian regiment stationed in Afghansitan, before the main troop withdrawal in 1985. The movie accurately portrays the grim realities of Russian army that have made it infamous: "dedovshina" (officers and NCOs physically harassing, beating and humiliating younger recruits), mixed character of war (you can trade with your enemy one day and kill him the next), life of women at the front lines, documentary footages of helicopter assaults, and coffins being soldered and sent home in heave C-130 Hercules class Russian cargo planes with tracer to jam Stinger missiles, fatigue, boredom, anti-war sentiment, emotional side simply put. The there's some action scenes, but they are poorly done, and often are illogical, like Major Bandura's suicidal walk and turning of his back to 10-year-old kid armed with AK-47 who's father he just killed. Also the fact that in the middle of firefight in the mountains heavy grenade launcher pops out of nowhere (and any half-bright person knows that it's virtually impossible to hump 40-50 lns launcher on the march anyone). But at the same time films shows that war is a dirty affair, where murder is sometimes condoned, wanton destruction of whole villages for little or no reason is normal, indiscriminate killing of civilians is overlooked as collateral damage inevitable during war... Some food for thought as to why Afghan war as lost.. Not the best war movie made, but profound and intelligent enough to be worth watching.
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