April 1941. The Germans after invading Greece, and despite previous assurances, allowed Bulgarian troops and guerrillas to enter into the Eastern Macedonia and Thrace. Progressively, the ...
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April 1941. The Germans after invading Greece, and despite previous assurances, allowed Bulgarian troops and guerrillas to enter into the Eastern Macedonia and Thrace. Progressively, the Bulgarians started terrorizing and exercising violence against the Greek population who opposed them. While this was happening, a Greek officer Nikos Devetzis (Giannis Voglis), together with his friend, Vasilis Anthimos (Petros Fyssoun)originating from the region of Eastern Macedonia, decided to return to their village which was under the oppression by a Bulgarian guerrilla group led by Stepan Rajko (Lakis Komninos) and started putting up resistance against the Bulgarian military forces and guerrillas. Written by
THE BRAVE BUNCH is a bit of a confused puppy. On one hand it's a WWII partisan resistance flick of which a good many was made in Europe from the late 40's and onwards through to the 70's, but on the other it's a straight up western with the Bulgarians occupying the Greek enclave of Macedonia acting the proper outlaw gang, pillaging, raping and murdering. There is a governor, more horse back scenes than you can shake a whip at, a dame in peril and the partisans come through as a brave bunch setting out to save the besieged village. On top of all that it throws some elements of the 70's drive in terror vogue with graphic violence and rape scenes in to the mix. Having said that, the mix as such is interesting, but comes across as somewhat frustrating. At times it becomes a bit far fetched and you end up wondering why the producers couldn't decide on which kind of film they would make. I saw a short edit of the film (around 90 minutes) and possibly there is a political side to the film, which you miss out of seeing the English language version, but that's only speculation from my side. For as it stands now THE BRAVE BUNCH is apolitical bordering on the absurd for a partisan flick. If there is a final word to this rambling it would be that the film is worth a look for its genre crossing, but you are probably best off getting the longer Greek cut.
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