Set during World War 2. After Nazi Germany invaded Poland in September 1939, Russia attacked Finland in November 1939. Finnish reservists leave their homes and go to war. The film focuses on two farmers from the municipality of Kauhava in the province of Pohjanmaa/Ostrobothnia, brothers Martti and Paavo Hakala, serving in a Finnish platoon.Written by
Director Pekka Parikka wasn't actually planning to make an extended TV version back in the late '80s. He received financial help from the Finnish Broadcasting Company, which wanted him to make a miniseries for Finnish TV. It has an hour of additional footage compared to the original theatrical version. See more »
Whenever a Soviet Polikarpov I-16 fighter strafes the Finnish positions, it uses it's wing cannons, yet there are no explosions. Polikarpov I-16 fighters have 2.0cm ShVAK cannons in their wings which fire explosive ammunition, so there should be explosions. See more »
This movie explores the mostly unknown, and extremely bloody part of Second World War, the Soviet invasion of Finland in 1939-40. For 105 days the Finns fought a numerically superior enemy before the war ended with 25,000 Finns and over 200,000 Russians dead. Forget Saving Private Ryan and The Thin Red Line, this movie shows what desperate war against overwhelming odds is about; desperation, lack of ammunition, constant bombardment, and nothing but your wits and your rifle to help you survive. Rightfully, the horrors of war are shown having effect on both sides; Finns are pinned down to the point of hardly living at all in dirt and constant fear of death, while Russians are mowed down in hundreds and mercilessly shot in the back. Excellent performances, good effects and marvelous photography makes this masterpiece not only one of the finest Finnish movies ever, but also a reminder that war is brutal, bloody, futile, and that it's the men on the front, Finnish or Russian, who have to die and bear the price for mankind's ultimate stupidity. Word of warning: violence is very graphic at times, especially in the close combat scenes.
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