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Fortress of War [DVD] [2010]

4.2 out of 5 stars 111 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Aleksei Kopashov, Pavel Derevyanko, Alexander Korshunov, Andrey Merzlikin, Evgeniy Tsyganov
  • Directors: Aleksandr Kott
  • Format: PAL, Widescreen, Subtitled, Dolby, Digital Sound
  • Language: Russian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Koch Media
  • DVD Release Date: 5 Sept. 2011
  • Run Time: 138 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (111 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004YJZDYQ
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 27,209 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Russian World War Two drama based on real events. When the Nazis invade the Soviet Union in June 1941, the Russian troops begin an epic struggle to hold onto the border stronghold of the Brest Fortress. The siege lasts for nine days, during which time both the soldiers and the ordinary townspeople are forced to face the bloody horrors of war.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Fortress of War tells the story of the heroic defence of the Brest Fortress which was assaulted on the opening day of hostilities between Nazi Germany and Russia(Operation Barbarossa).The film opens as most war films do showing the relative peace before the carnage ensues.Russian soldiers and their families alike were enjoying a hot summers day watching the regimental band play,dancing and scenes of young love.The most excitement they seemed to get is from a delivery of a new film for the Saturday night screening.
All this changes on the morning of June 22nd when the Germans unleash their first artillery barrage on the fortress,which is best described really as a citadel(think of Hue City in Vietnam and that should give you an idea of the scale of the fortifications at Brest).What ensues during this initial barrage is utter confusion and disarray amongst the Russian soldiers,power supplies are cut,ammunition dumps explode,civilians are indiscriminately killed along with soldiers all of whom are running in different directions.
Eventually a handful of Russian officers regained some sort of order and formed pockets of resistance against the ever attacking mouse grey masses in front of them.The three main pockets were all lead by real characters that did exist during this siege.There is very little artistic license by the film makers as most of the names and events did happen as the film depicts(the Brest Fortress museum was involved in the making of this film throughout).
After the initial barrage the Germans advance on the fortress with well planned co-ordinated infantry attacks supported with tanks.From here on there is no let up in the action all of which is superbly filmed.
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Russian cinema is on the rise, well made films like 9th Company (Single Disc) [2008] [DVD], The Star (Region 2) [2002] [DVD] and The Admiral [DVD] [2008] have been entertaining, lavish but always left me a bit underwhelmed. It was like watching a 30 year old movie when it came to storyline and sometimes background music. A the same time sets and charactersation was most interesting.

Fortress of War come out as a fully mature film and everything comes brilliantly together. The movie is full of characters in strong emotional situations, usually slightly undertoned giving the imagination free rein. The battle scenes are brutal and well made with even clever twist thrown in here and there. The film is about resistance and heroism in the face of danger.

Historically it is very interesting, as Defence of Brest Fortress is important to the Russian and White Russian character. True to life the Brest (Brest in White Russia not France) Fortress was hit by full force when the Germans invaded the Soviet Union during Operation Barbarossa. Quickly surrounded the Germans had to fight to capture it 2 years before during the invasion of Poland and attempted to capture it by a Coup de main (A coup de main is a swift attack that relies on speed and surprise to accomplish its objectives in a single blow.) This failed and turned into a costly struggle. The Defence of Brest Fortrees became a symbol of Soviet resistance much like Tobruk for the British and Commonwealth.

For a war movie fan I give this film top marks and for others it is a good film as well for it is a story of human level as well.
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I have been waiting for this to get a Region 2 release, it was originally called The Brest Fortress and available in Region 1. It starts with a young boy and how he plays for the marching band. He tells the story through the lives that lived and died through out the siege. It was June 22 1941 and the beginning of Operation Barbarossa, the Russians' under Comrade Stalin guidance had signed the Molotov Ribbentrov pact of non aggression. They had no orders to defend their borders, in fact the previous day; Russia had delivered vital war materials to the German regime.

Then they attacked with out warning and without a formal declaration of war. The Russians were neutered. The Brest Fortress was not really a fortress but an 18th Century fortress/garrison that had long since become obsolete. The men had their families stationed with them, it was a sprawling Victorian style base of operations that could never withstand a modern barrage, let alone the might of the Wermacht.

Once the attack begins the Russians are in disarray, but soon mainly due to the Commissars, they get organised, but they have very few weapons and little ammunition. The Germans had already infiltrated their lines and cut off both power and water. They have no choice but to fight. Any attempt at a break out is met with German aggression. Once they start defending the 'Motherland' they use everything, from chairs to barrels and spades. This is a very real war film, where hand to hand fighting is shown up close and personal.

It does not shrink from any of the realities of war and does not glorify anything - except for the human spirit. The cinematography is excellent; the acting is superb, especially from the younger members of the cast.
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