9th Company

On a topic related to my yesterday’s post (actually now it is already the day before yesterday’s post as it is past midnight when I am finishing this one) about the new BTR-60 kit… If you would be looking for inspiration for a project using this model, try movie 9th Company.

As usually, I have found this movie accidentally when browsing the shelves in HMV. Since I have not heard about the movie before, I was quite intrigued – Russian movie about Afghanistan…?

To summarize my impression of the movie – I was really impressed.

The movie was directed by Fyodor Bondarchuk, son of a famous russian director Sergey Bondarchuk. In addition to being director, Fyodor Bondarchuk also played one of the key characters in the movie. Since the movie is Russian, I have found it very unique in capturing and developing the main characters through story, which did not feel as written by a Hollywood scriptwriter.

The movie tells the story of a group of young recruits in the Russian airborne unit, starting at the recruitment center, showing their training, arrival to Afghanistan toward the end of the conflict as well as their experience of the war. The main characters are well portrayed, movie shows different personalities and different life stories coming together.

In terms of historical accuracy, the battle depicted at the end of the movie is based on a real event, though its depiction is not 100% accurate (well, what movie is?). In spite of this, battle scenes are very well made and feel very authentic. I watched the movie in Russian language with subtitles and would strongly recommend this, it adds to the authenticity (I admit I understand quite a bit of Russian, so it might be more difficult if you don’t).

From the technical accuracy standpoint, the movie also passes the test – most of the vehicles shown were actually used in Afghanistan, with the exception of the battle tanks, where more current T-72 or T-80 were used in the movie, which of course have not seen service in the Afghan conflict. Unlike many other Hollywood war movies, 9th company is not a showcase of special effects, there are some very good ones, but they are not overwhelming.

As mentioned at the beginning, I was quite impressed by this movie, it shows the Afghan conflict from a perspective, which is rarely shown and even more rarely so well depicted. In my opinion in ranks together with the famous movie the Beast as one of the best war movies in general.

I noticed you can watch the movie on YouTube, but quite frankly I recommend to watch it on bluray, it’s well worth it.

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