Wounded as tank driver in 1941 during WWII, Kalashnikov sees the latest Soviet machine gun fail. As he's also an inventor, he starts looking for improvements and in 1947 ends up with AK-47 assault rifle.
Biographical film about the inventor and designer of small arms Mikhail Timofeevich Kalashnikov. Today it is difficult to find a person who does not know this name. However, not everyone knows what a long and thorny path traveled a self-taught guy to create the legendary AK-47 weapon at the age of 28, which to this day is a symbol of the weapons thought of our time.Written by
A fascinating insight into the world of weapons design....
I'm going to start by addressing some of the comments from reviewers who claim Hugo Schmeiser, a German weapons expert, designed the AK47. A few facts. Schmeiser was not overly co-operative with the Soviets. Moreover, they did not appear to think a great deal of his work. He received a pay cut and was effectively demoted to lesser roles. Functionally, the weapons he designed and the AK-47 designed by Kalashnikov are vastly different, too.
Comments also seem to suggest Kalashnikov had no talent. If so how did he rise through the ranks from obscurity with little education, in an empire as vast as the Soviet Union? Why are not one but many of his weapons designs so famous? If he had no inherent talent how is it his son Victor also designed well known military weapons, most notably the PP-19 Bizon, also still in use today? Hardly likely, if there was no talent to be inherited. Surely?
So lets move on to the film. Its a fascinating insight into the world of weapons design through the life of Soviet weapons designer Mikhail Kalashnikov. Its well acted, directed and has a certain passion I had not expected to find in a film about arms manufacture.
Its clear the reasons Kalashnikov strove to develop weapons were driven by a need to protect his country, not profit from death. A point much emphasised in this film. Indeed, Kalashnikov himself wrote of his "spiritual pain" in latter life when he saw how his famous creation, the AK-47, was used around the world.
What's particularly remarkable about Kalashnikov is the fact this inventor, in his early years, started off with a very basic education. He rose to prominence through hard work and the merit of his designs. A fact that is made clear in the film as he competed, with often better educated, weapons designers.
In terms of the story, some creative license has been taken. Especially in terms of his private life. He married in 1921 but this film suggests he was married a lot later.
Putting this aside, this film is well crafted, engrossing and utterly fascinating. This coming from a reviewer who is, by nature, a pacifist and opposed to war.
8/10 from me.
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