The movie is based on the book of Moris Simaszko, Kazakh writer, who writes in Russian. The book has been printed in late 80's and was one of the first attempts to describe the truth about the infamous "Sztrafnyje bataliony" (Penal battalions) formed during the WW II in Soviet Union from the political prisoners, criminals and regular soldiers who broke the military law. The penal battalions has been sent to the first line for impossible missions, badly armed and with the NKWD units behind the back who shoots to the soldiers who tried to retreat. The movie is not so true like the famous TV-mini "Shtrafbat" (highly recommended and thrilling) but nevertheless really worth seeing
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