The film is based on the eponymous book by Emmanuil Kazakevich. In the summer of 1944 the Nazi Armies prepare a massive Tank Division named 'Viking" for the offensive on occupied Russian land. The Russian Army's special group of seven snipers named "Zvezda" is sent for a reconnaissance operation behind the enemy lines in the back of the Nazi Tank Division. Two previous Russian groups never came back. The seven Russians know that they are going to an almost certain Death for the sake of Victory. Written by
But every spring, every May,the souls of the fallen on the fields of Poland, Germany, and everywhere go back to their homes to see their blooming motherland they gave their lives for.
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What struck me about this film was how Very Russian it was. Having spent some time in the country, enough to get a sense of how Russians like to view themselves, this films themes felt very familiar. The depiction of the female radio operator, was so cliche, and well almost laughable. The band of scouts seemed to scream hey look we're PC, we even have a central Asian guy. The group also largely reminded me of the gang from Saving Private Ryan. There was even the weedyl little guy who is too afraid to shoot. All this said, its not a BAD film, its quite enjoyable, and its always interesting to see a WW2 film that is not from the Allied side. Alas though it falls short of greatness, well short due its insistence on dragging out all the old WW2 films tricks. You have seen this all before, the film offers nothing new. The thing that always irked me about Private Ryan, was the overtly sanctimonious/God Bless America style ending. The Star has an equally patriotic finale, but somehow the Russian patriotism is less galling. Overall a solid film, good even, but its been done.
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