Set during the opening days of World War II on the Eastern Front. Its main cast are a group of Soviet teenagers with extraordinary abilities; the teenagers have been drafted to form a ...
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Set during the opening days of World War II on the Eastern Front. Its main cast are a group of Soviet teenagers with extraordinary abilities; the teenagers have been drafted to form a special unit to fight the invading German army. They are opposed by a Schutzstaffel (SS) officer who is attempting to raise from the dead a supernatural army of crusaders from the 12th-century Order of the Sacred Cross and enlist them in the Nazi cause.Written by
The film intercuts with interviews from real life Soviet World War II veterans. See more »
Film credits show Ivan Prohorov playing Gennadi Sergeev, but it is the other way around: Actor Gennadi Sergeev is playing character Ivan. See more »
The 'Studio 4°C / Molot Entertainment Inc.' (Sony Home entertainment) DVD issue (of 2009) runs LESS THAN AN HOUR, at just 57minutes and has none of the interviews and/or historical interludes in it. See more »
It is a true masterpiece. But not for mainstream hamburger eaters. The great story. The movie addresses history and a lot of Soviet era archetypes, as well as spiritual side of life. It makes the film interesting for any nation. A lot of people in Soviet Union was up-brought on the idea of spiritual strength of Motherland defenders and readiness to sacrifice own life defending Motherland. This makes them comparable to Japanese fighters. All of them were taught that the spirit of people is winning wars, not tanks or bombs. That's one of the ideas of the film as I see it. Though there are disputes now under way were Soviets good or bad guys in WWII, some facts are indisputable. 1) A most of German nation was brainwashed and declared themselves supermen. A lot of ideological, manipulative and even occult methods were applied to do it.
2) The Soviet people faced a prospect of slavery and holocaust from Nazis. Though Soviet government was also very aggressive and did a lot to kill and convict a lot of Soviets as well, poor soviet people had no choice but fight for the survival. The survival of Motherland (even so cruel to own citizens), people, and family, culture and history, but not personal survival only. The chance to survive was minimal, but the spirit was very strong. The own live was something many of these people were ready to sacrifice for victory. It was mass heroism, and not fanaticism. Most of them were just usual people, not samurais or specially trained professionals. The wave of the people outrage towards Nazis was tremendous. Majority of fighters (unlike modern Islam kamikaze) did not believe in Heavens and rewards after life or heroic death, they knew that there were almost no chance to stay alive, they wanted victory and were ready to pay for it. And if after death they had a chance to fight, most of them were happy to do it. So many times Nazis were about to win, but something helped Russians again and again. E.g. Nazies were stopped in the Moscow suburbs with almost no Russian troops behind them. There were some other critical moments in this war when every little thing could play a main role in human history. If either Moscow or Stalingrad were captured, or in Battle of Kursk soviets were defeated WWII could be won by Nazis, US and UK alone without Soviets would never win the war, because Soviets paid the bloodiest price for the victory over the Nazis and were decisive power. So such moments are very interesting points of the history and issues in human psychology. The moments when the border between life and death is so illusive. I think that film creators by the artistic means succeeded to give a very interesting interpretation of such moments. So the film is a great and intellectual entertainment, it is much much better then thousands of other animated works. Great job guys! Thank you!
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