1988-1989. The end of the Soviet-Afghan war. The USSR begins its withdrawal from Afghanistan. Soviet General Vasiliev's son - a pilot named Alexander gets kidnapped by the mujahideen after ...
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1988-1989. The end of the Soviet-Afghan war. The USSR begins its withdrawal from Afghanistan. Soviet General Vasiliev's son - a pilot named Alexander gets kidnapped by the mujahideen after his airplane crashes. As a result the 108th motorized infantry division's long awaited return home gets put on hold for one last mission: bring the General's son back. Based on true events the previously untold story of the courageous and tragic withdrawal campaign (through the Salang pass) reveals the danger the horror and the complexity of human nature during wartime.
According to the director Pavel Lungin the movie is inspired by the memories of his friend Nikolay Kovalev, who actually did army service in Afghanistan during the war and later became Army General of the Russian Federation. He died a month before the official premiere of the movie. See more »
This movie's realistic approach to the war in Afghanistan and the characters involved is absolutely stunning. It takes no sides, yet it does reveal the ugly and the good in the different sides. Driven by political agenda the Soviet war in that ragged country morphs into a battle for survival of those involved, as ideological agendas make little sense for the locals who are goat herders and gang members, nor for the young Russian soldier recruited to impose "socialism" to the Afghani's, who, after all, fight trying to preserve their own country and way of life.
The low morale of the Soviet soldiers, yet the undisputed bravery and comradery at the same time, the savage and murderous culture of the locals, yet intertwined with a moral code that denounces betrayal and empty materialism are all intertwined in the story.
The acting is brilliant, absolutely believable at all times. There is suspense, but it is not only that which keeps you interested from start to finish. It is the unpretentious telling of a true drama from an artistic angle. The camera shots are also simple, somewhat documentary style realistic, yet visually moving.
Excellent movie, highly recommended.
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