The beauty of this movie is that you, as the reader of the subtitles, are the only one who knows what is going on. The woman and the two men all speak different languages. It is a comedy of errors up until the end.
A Russian platoon sweeps a village, avoiding two mishaps. At a remote check-post they play cards with bullets as stakes. A village girl pimps her deaf-mute sister for bullets. A shifty enemy sniper keeps strafing, causing a tragedy.
The authors of the television series studied archival materials and military chronicles. The last series ends with a demonstration of the list of penalty parts, which from 1942 to 1945 fought on the Soviet fronts.
One of the best movies I have seen in a long time. Do not watch it if you are just looking to be thrilled or entertained. It is one of those rare movies that helps us understand better our inner selves, shows us that our humanity, kindness and inner light could be preserved in the harshest of circumstances, can reach across boundaries. Mood and tempo changes on the screen effortlessly and fluidly like in real life. All actors play their roles so convincingly that you forget it is a movie. This movie is made for quiet watching without interruptions and interferences. It truly got my brain cells working. Great attention to historical details in costumes, sets, beauty in every screen shot (movies director is an artist). Additional praise should be given to portraying of Americans – unusually convincing for a Russian movie. Fabulous work by a cameraman, some shots would make fabulous still photography worthy to be hung in an art gallery. One of the rare movies one might want to own to watch over and over again.
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