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1944: Forced To Fight [DVD]

4.3 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Mark Leht
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: German, Russian, Estonian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: High Fliers Films
  • DVD Release Date: 15 Aug. 2016
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B01EX0PWSM
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,460 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

In 1944 the Battle of Tannenberg would become one of the bloodiest conflicts of World War II. The SS are repelling the Russian invasion of Germany, but half of the infantry is made up of eastern Europeans, drafted in from Siberian labor camps and forced to fight their own brothers. 1944 Forced To Fight is the incredible and harrowing true story of one of the darkest periods of World War II.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Set during the Battle of Tannenburg in 1944 this is the story of several Estonian men who fought for either Stalin or Hitler. The story is both simple and moving and it really does not pull its punches.

The action is as good as any you will see and the materiel all seemed to be spot on as well as the uniforms. The Russian T34 tanks looked very real and even though there is some CGI here it makes no difference to the overall quality of the film.

There is a love interest too but that is both incidental and also a large part in that the affections in war time can often be magnified due to the constant proximity of death and injury. The acting is just perfect and the direction seemingly effortless in how well it was done. There is very little to find fault with here. In Estonian, Russian and German with good sub titles.

This is a film for those who appreciate a quality production and it may also shine a light on a part of that war that many of us know very little about, completely recommended.
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Absolutely top notch film, with shades of Cross of Iron. Dealing with the complicated nature of WW2 from an Estonian perspective was always going to be hard to get correct, with all the political spin-offs that have persevered to the present day - with the most obvious example being the Waffen-SS monument at Lihula. However, the film makers have managed to pull it off via the clever technique of showing the war from the German side to start with, and then the Russian viewpoint in the second half of the movie. The result is a very fair film that shows the moral complexities/motivations that the individuals had to come to terms with. I found the acting to be really good - with no weekend warriors in sight. The uniforms and weapons were spot on and it was a nerd's delight to see all the authentic equipment on show. So, in short, if you have a penchant for WW2 films then I recommend this outstanding movie.
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The original title of the film is just plain "1944". You can find it in IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes with that title.

1944 is an excellent war movie from 2015 about some soldiers of the small country Estonia, caught between Germans and Russians in WWII. It is a grim yet human exploration of people trying to survive the extremes of war and being forced to fight on both sides of the conflict. The battle scenes are excellent and the more quiet moments equally so.

I highly recommend this film to anyone who liked Saving Private Ryan, Thin Red Line etc. It is one of the best war movies of this century so far.
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There is an understandable desire for the small nations of Europe to have their say in how WW2 affected them. This Estonian film is one example. The screenplay, acting, production values & fighting scenes are excellent. The use of two main characters fighting on opposite sides in the Waffen-SS & Red Army produces a comforting central narrative which can only boost contemporary Estonian national feeling & morale. These characters are essentially decent, apolitical, individuals sucked into the vortex of powerful forces beyond their control. As such, they embody the fate of their unfortunate country caught up in the Nazi-Soviet struggle of WW2.

The film succeeds quite well in explaining the complex history of Estonia from 1919 to 1944 without spoiling the central drama. Reference is made to the Independence War of 1919-20; Soviet Occupation & deportations to Siberia 1940-41 (& also future post-1945 deportations of 'kulaks'); the Nazi Occupation & 'conscription' of Estonian youth 1941 - 44 as a prelude to the film's main subject: the Soviet reinvasion in 1944.

The war years 1940 - 44 saw Estonians caught between two totalitarian ideologies which allowed little leeway to the individual conscience. Yet the film shows Estonian Waffen-SS soldiers refusing to give the Hitler salute (mandatory for the whole Wehrmacht by this date) & making disparaging remarks about signed photos of the Fuhrer. Laughably, an Estonian government Nazi flunkey announces that Estonians have now been declared officially Aryan. The Estonian Waffen-SS are suitably unimpressed. These are shown as young men fighting for national independence rather than Nazi ideology. This comforting narrative neatly sidelines the murkier story of Estonian-Nazi collaboration. No mention is made of Estonian Jews.
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An unusual take on WW2 this is a great film. It deals with the Estonian side to the conflicts (although the Jewish massacres are ignored). It does however address the Estonian ex-patriots who served in the Soviet army as well as the Waffen-SS. A very good piece of work and the combat sequences are accurate and very, very good. Recommended.
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Having found this movie in it's original release of Brüder - Feinde (1944) Brüder - Feinde (FSK 16 Jahre) DVD I first watched the film without the aid of English subtitles and was interested enough to do a little more research in order to find the subtitled version. As other reviewers have mentioned, the attention to period detail is precise and the film definitely portrays the look and feel of the time in which it's set. Battle scenes are well executed and filmed, the performance of the cast is genuinely believable, as are the military tactics employed by the respective forces during the time of actual events.

Watching the movie, initially without the aid of subtitles, I was intrigued by the obvious efforts that had gone towards creating a specific period in time and was particularly impressed with the ferocity of battle sequences. However, having watched the movie again with subtitles I was quickly drawn in by cleverly woven dialogue that allows a much larger story to unfold. Through listening to the thoughts of a soldier writing a letter home we learn not only of the events that lead to him fighting within the German army, but of how these same events were happening to countless other families throughout the country and indeed the rest of German held territory. In a rather unusual and clever twist, half way through the movie we leave the characters we'd been following and pick up the events from the opposing Russian advance, similarly following the lives of the soldiers fighting on the opposite side. The film is definitely one that anyone with a genuine interest in WW2 should see at least once.
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