Retreating German armies are in desperate need of fuel. Valter, mysterious and charismatic resistance leader can jeopardize their supply. Germans carry out cunning plan in order to eliminate that obstacle.Written by
Dragan Antulov <email@example.com>
"Valter Brani Sarajevo" is a movie deeply ingrained in essence of practically everybody born in former Yugoslavia. There probably isn't a person here than hasn't seen it at least once. Its popularity and fond memories of it span over four decades now and none of the similar genre movies made before or since ever came close, not even Bulajic's war epics.
The phenomenon of it is really simple - it was the first action flick set in the WWII period. Before that one could only see deeply indoctrinated (and indoctrinating) movies about "just communist struggle against Nazi/bourgeois oppressors". This was the first time audience was actually able to just root for the good guys while not simultaneously being hammered by deep messages and propaganda. And the production crew did go to great lengths to make it happen.
There really is not much propaganda, if any, to be seen. There is hardly a mention of who the good guys belong to. There are no speeches of Tito, struggle, communism or proletariat. Germans are still bad, but you'd expect that in any war movie done by non-Germans.
There are however a lot of clichés and silly plots and sub-plots, clumsy extras and stunt men, the stuff you'd certainly expect in an action flick. There is also the most important ingredient - action. It's spectacular and there is lots of it. Silly script surprisingly doesn't detract from viewing pleasure and well paced directing really keeps it together.
"Valter" stands the test of time just as well as its American spaghetti- peers "Dirty Dozen" or "Kelly's Heroes". Nowadays we are all a bit smarter and nobody is required to watch it with naive reverence. There is a lot of unintentionally funny stuff in there, such as various goofs regarding anachronism, laughable German strategy as depicted, or the spy plot in which every principal character easily fools the other side by wearing stolen uniforms and having an impeccable accent when talking to his enemy. Still, even with all that, its easy to put disbelief on hold and follow the movie in what it is dead serious about - being spectacular and fun.
Spectacle and fun is what "Valter Brani Sarajevo" achieves and it not only makes for two hours well spent - it makes you wanna spend them again and again.
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