It tells the story of a young boy joining the Partisans in Belarus who goes on a whirlwind journey through the horrors of the Eastern front. Villages being torched, families massacred, shelling in the forest described with chilling honesty all set against the spectacular scenery shot with a sometimes Tarkovsky like visual poetry. Be prepared for a journey...
The film's time line is about a week but by the end the young "hero" stares back at us through the face of a forty year old. A powerful, troubling, moving, upsetting film that peals back the layers of civilisation to expose the primeval barbarity and raw hatred that drove the Eastern front to create a casualty list that topped 20 million.
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Watch this film before you watch The Downfall: Hitler and the End of the Third Reich and you will get a better contextual sense of the violent circumstance in Berlin 1945.