Russian children out in the fields gathering grain find themselves in the path of the invading German army making its way to Stalingrad, a target city of their onslaught. The four youths, ...
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Jacques de Baroncelli
Russian children out in the fields gathering grain find themselves in the path of the invading German army making its way to Stalingrad, a target city of their onslaught. The four youths, Kolya, Grisha, Pavel, and the girl, Nadya, realize the German army, is attacking so they set fire to the grain field's harvest. Returning to their village the children find Tommy, a hurt English consulate's son fleeing the city with his parents who perished in the attempt. They stretcher him to their village for recovery. Still alive in the rubble of the village is a young child Yuri whom the group takes in also. Kolya, the oldest assumes leadership and skirmishes to find food for the group, living in a village cellar. He discovers a German tank encampment and sabotages a tank. A Nazi Major commander sends men to scout the village who are met by resistance from the children using found weapons. The Major believes a large guerilla force is present and halts his advance to neutralize it. The Nazi ... Written by
Of all the WWII movies I watched as a child, this one made the deepest impression. In fact, I suffered through bad dreams afterward, but I'm not sorry I saw it. Since I haven't had the opportunity to view it as an adult, this is not so much a review as a testimonial to the power of the film. The message that stayed with me: Children can be heroes too. Fighting for one's country may cost your life, but it's worth it. I remember the film as shot in grainy black and white, almost like a newsreel. It felt real because we knew what actually had happened in Stalingrad, as the Russians, defending their city, fought the invaders house to house. Some scenes were shockingly brutal--Nazis shooting a child in the stomach comes to mind. But it was a story about courage that I will never forget.
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