Russian cinema has chosen ‘Stalingrad’ to be its first feature-length 3D movie; an appropriate choice for such an historic occasion, and helmed by Fedor Bondarchuk, himself part of an historic filmmaking dynasty.
It has a big budget and an international cast to do justice to the epochal battle that arguably swung the second world war the allies’ way. Yet amid one of the bloodiest battles in history and the hundreds of thousands of deaths the action finds space for a dramatic love story.
“The war was fought by people. People. On both sides. We need to tell their stories. During wars, people are in a completely different physical and psychological state, which allows them to do things that they wouldn’t be able to think of otherwise,” said actor Andrey Smolyakov.
The story – having failed while attempting to cross the Volga and launch a counter-offensive, Soviet troops are forced to retreat. However, a few soldiers manage to land on the enemy-held shore. They hide in a house, where they find a girl.
Stranded on the frontline after her house was occupied by German troops the girl becomes the men’s mission. They will protect her at any cost.
“It is a film about real people, a film with no caricatures,” explained actor Thomas Kretschmann.
‘Stalingrad’ is Russia’s Foreign Language Oscar entry.