Between August 1942 and February 1943, Nazi Germany battled with Soviet Russia for control of the city of Stalingrad. It was a staggeringly bloody turning point that saw the German 6th Army destroyed and the beginning of the end for Nazi power on the eastern front, and it cost the Soviets 1,150,000 soldiers and airmen with another 650,000 injured.
This immense historical moment is the focus of Fedor Bondarchuk‘s Stalingrad which takes the Saving Private Ryan WWII gloss and lays it with intensity on top of a different part of the war. In fact, it even seeks to make the action more personal by making the focus of the story a young girl that several Soviet soldiers vow to keep safe while on the wrong side of enemy lines.
The trailer looks impeccable with a ton of fighting and broad overhead shots where piles of rubble get turned into smaller piles of rubble. Not bad for $30m:
It’s excellent to start seeing different areas of WWII explored in cinema, especially to see it coming from different countries. This trailer — the entire project really — reminds me of South Korea’s Mai Wei, which had a solidly human story and action scenes that felt like the first 15 minutes of Private Ryan repeated like a bludgeon every so often. These are important stories to tell, but it’s also pretty fascinating to see that foreign filmmakers are choosing the stylistic look of an American WWII movie to share their own historical experiences.
Stalingrad currently has no release date, but will most likely hit Russia soon.