This movie is about the Estonian War of Independence (1918-1920), specifically the students fighting on the nationalist side, but also shown the conflict between two ideologies (Estonian nationalism and communism).
The Soviet army breaks through the Finnish defences on the Karelian Isthmus in June 1944, advancing with overwhelming force. Somehow, the Finnish troops must find the strength to fight back... See full summary »
In "1944" Director Elmo Nüganen portrays the real events on the Eastern Front in Estonia in 1944, from the Battle Of Tannenburg Line, the July fighting on the Sinimäed Hills, until November, when the Sorve peninsula was already conquered by the Soviet Army. The war is shown through the eyes of participants in the events on both warring sides - the Estonians who fought on the side of the German Army in the 20th Estonian division Waffen-SS, and as part of the 8th Estonian Rifle Corps of the Soviet Army. For residents of Estonia it was a war in which everyone makes their own choices. It is with such hard choices facing the main characters of the film - the soldiers of the opposing sides Carl Tammik and Urey Jogi - as well as their comrades, relatives, friends and even strangers.Written by
To be honest I was expecting a low budget bodged effort with lousy period detail and an awful screenplay. In fact it frankly puts most Hollywood and UK efforts to shame. The uniforms, T 34's are really well done and the combat looks authentic, reminiscent perhaps of Cross of Iron. 1944 highlights the sheer randomness of war both in terms of which side you would be pushed into fighting for and graphically who makes it through..... I feel it emphasises loyalty to the platoon, rather than any ideal and how similar one infantry man is to another. Themes of guilt run through story no doubt echoing Estonia's own history in this period, with no options to offer between the two evils, the men could be conscripted into either side. The film pulls off a difficult task in showing realism, brutality and forgiveness within one of the most unforgiving conflicts in history, whilst avoiding the routine white hats black hats seen in most war movies.
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