In 1941 Finland attacks the Soviet Union to regain the territory that the Soviet Union occupied after the Winter war 1939-1940. Among the Finnish soldiers are Anttero, Wolf Paw, Koskela and Hietanen. Under great hardships and deaths of comrades in arms they manage to come as far as Lake Onega before the losses become too great.Written by
A Finnish infantry company with machine guns fights against the Red Army.
The movie is based on a brilliant and realistic book (Unknown soldier) about the "Continuation War" between Finland and Soviet Union from 1941 to 1944.
After the initial fast attack phase the war turns into sleepy trench warfare (1942-44), then (1944)the company has to retreat and finally stop the storming Red Army forces. There exists a wide spectrum of characters from cowards to heroes, from peasant rank-and-file soldiers to cocky officers. The scale in personalities and changing situations of war, which are credibly described, makes the movie a spectacle.
It helps a lot if one knows some of the underlying history, but the story is rather universal tale of the cruelty of war and the men who have to live and die for their country and different motives. The language with dialects is versatile, but in Finnish only. This old version (1955) is in my opinion better than the later one (1985).
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