The feature film directed by Elem Klimov, shot in the genre of military drama. The action takes place on the territory of Belarus in 1943. In the center of the story is a Belarusian boy, who witnesses the horrors of the Nazi punitive action, turning from a cheerful teenager into a gray-haired old man for two days.Written by
In the English language version, an opening title sets the scene as "Byelorussia, 1943". This is the older English spelling of the present day republic of Belarus. It was pronounced bee-YEL-uh-ROOS-ia. See more »
In the barn scene near the end, a man peeks out the window and is immediately shot. In this moment, the audio of everyone else in the barn screaming stopped for a second and the gun sound effect played. See more »
What most of the foreign viewers perhaps don't understand is that the factual side of the movie has always been a common knowledge among millions of Russians especially those of older generations. People like me, who were born 10-15 years after the war ended, knew it all along first hand from the stories told by parents and grandparents actually living through those times and events. My own mother at the age of seven was thrown by German soldiers into a barn that got lit, her front teeth were knocked out by the butt of a German soldier's rifle and she, along with tenth of other village kids, was saved by my grand-mother and other villagers only because some partisans had chosen to attack and deliberate the village that day. What most of Western viewers find horrifying, shocking and disturbing is nothing but the truth being accurately depicted by some later movie makers. This movie is pretty much like a documentary that could actually be shot with the help of some sort of a "time machine" in case there was one in 1985 when the movie got filmed.
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