A lonely journey in the midst of the largest battle in human history
Todorovsky's film examines life in a provincial Russian town (that is too small to even appear on the map) just outside of Stalingrad during the famous WWII Battle. This is NOT a traditional war film, and the epic events of the battle take place almost entirely off screen. Instead, Todorovsky outlines a crude love triangle between three young people caught up in the harsh Russian winter. The stark winter settings, and the characters' struggle for survival, are what make this film one worth watching. The acting is fairly even, but all laughter in the film seems forced, which is perhaps appropriate for the circumstances. The subtitles are also delayed by a full line, so viewers with a beginning familiarity of the Russian language are likely to be frustrated. This is a good Russian movie, although in my opinion, Aleksandr Rogozhkin does a much better job with an extremely similar theme in Kukushka (2002).
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