Cinema Lumiere - Sala Scorsese > 18:00


Aleksandr Ivanov
Introduced by

Olaf Möller and Peter Bagrov


Sunday 26/06/2016


Original version with subtitles


Film Notes

Viktor Nekrasov’s novel on the battle of Stalingrad was a troublesome piece of literature: published in serial form as Stalingrad (“Znamja”, no. 8-10, 1946) and praised immediately for its unflinchingly realistic portrayal of WWII’s most decisive battle, it got re-titled into V okopach Stalingrada (Front-line Stalingrad, 1947) for the book edition only a year on – the embattled city’s name alone was by then already too ‘suggestive’ in too many directions at the same time. It took a decade till Nekrasov’s tale of suffering and death could be adapted for cinema, again under a different title: Soldaty – which is even more general than Stalingrad. It’s interesting to speculate whether Aleksandr Ivanov already knew Nekrasov’s novel when he directed Zvezda (The Star, 1949), his immediately shelved tale of a recon squad’s unheroic exploits that accidentally became the Thaw’s first major war movie when it got finally released a few months after Stalin’s death; a quiet modesty combined with an interest in the details of soldiering, not to mention a grim sense of determination and doom all these works certainly have in common. Ivanov certainly tried to do justice to Nekrasov – even if the film takes its liberties with the novel: Stalin is more or less out of the picture, and so is the story’s original opening with the disastrous battle of Charkov which sets the tragic tone for the horrors ahead. Added was that wonderfully masculine lyricism found in many Thaw war movies – although it never truly cushions the ferocity and pain at the work’s heart.

Olaf Möller

Cast and Credits

Sog.: dal romanzo Nelle trincee di Stalingrado di Viktor Nekrasov. Scen.: Viktor Nekrasov. F.: Vjačeslav Fastovič. Scgf.: Nikolaj Suvorov. Mus.: Oleg Karavajčuk. Int.: Vsevolod Safonov (Keržencev), Tamara Loginova (Ljusja), Leonid Kmit (Čumak), Innokentij Smoktunovskij (Farber), Nikolaj Pogodin (Karnauchov), Ljudmila Markelija (Marusja), Juri Solov’ëv (Valega), Vladislav Koval’kov (Sedych), Michail Ladygin (Borodin), Evgenij Teterin (Georgij Akimovič). Prod.: Lenfilm. 35mm. D.: 106’. Bn.