Yesterday I saw this trailer on the Youtube and the only thing I can say is: WOW.
I did not know that there is another movie with the theme of Stalingrad battle in the making, but with the movies coming from Russia this is not that much surprising. Having watched the trailer few times, it seems that we are in for a visually stunning piece ,production and camera seem to be excellent. I loved the music with the trailer, I think it perfectly matches the mood the trailer was intent on invoking. Another positively contributing should be the fact that this being Russian movie, it is more than likely that no Hollywood “stars” will be in it (apology to the few good ones, but simply I don’t see them fit in here).
Another thing I like is that the movie is going to be in Russian (of course), but the German dialogues will be left in German and will be sub-titled, which is quite unique.
In terms of historical accuracy, it is too early to make a judgement, there are few things (I don’t want to use term mistakes) that are clear from the trailer – The Panzer IV tanks visible in the clip are not 100% accurate as this tank at that particular time did not have side skirts (schurzen), the use of these started in mid-1943, about 6 months after the Stalingrad battle. Also attachment of these skirts to the hull as can be seen in the clip is not correct. But this is really nitpicking – I think the filmmakers went to great length to replicate the Panzer IV and I appreciate that they did not use Tiger tank, as is favourably being done in movies. In one of the shots you can see markings of the 24th Panzer Division on the right front fender of the tank. This division actually did fight and was annihilated in the Stalingrad battle. Kamen Nevenkin’s excellent Fire Brigade book does not provide order of battle for this division prior to its reconstitution in 1943, but from other sources it is apparent that the division actually had 12 long-barreled Panzer IV tanks at this time.
In any case, this movie being Russian made is to be expected to present “Russian” view of the battle, not saying there is anything wrong with this. Movie is directed by Fedor Bondarchuk (son of the internationally acclaimed Sergey Bondarchuk), who has already been mentioned in this blog thanks to his great movie 9th Company (see the post here).
According to wikipedia, this movie is to be released this year and it is the first Russian and non-American movie to be produced using the IMAX format.
I don’t know how about you, but I cannot wait to see this one…