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Stalingrad [Blu-ray] [US Import]
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""This is an epic look at the battle that turned the tide of World War II. A band of determined Russian soldiers fight to hold a strategic building in their devastated city against a ruthless German army, and in the process become deeply connected to two Russian women who have been living there. The scale of the battle contrasts dramatically with the human drama of the Russian soldiers, the few remaining civilians and their invaders into Stalingrad.""
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The battle scenes he has created around the house are terrible and convincing. Lest anyone doubt that the reality of Stalingrad was as murderous as the director makes them seem, read this excerpt from the diary of a panzergrenadier officer: ‘We have fought for 15 days for a single house with mortars, machine-guns, grenades and bayonets. The front is a corridor between burnt-out rooms.
‘The street is no longer measured in metres, but in corpses. When night arrives — one of those scorching, howling, bleeding nights — the dogs plunge into the Volga and swim desperately for the other bank. Animals flee this hell; the hardest stones cannot bear it for long; only men endure.’
The film certainly conveyed that, which is what it was meant to do.
Somehow Kretschmann manages to keep a straight face when Kahn tells Masha, “I came here as a soldier. You made me a beast.” In this instance it sounds just as bad in German, though the English subtitles are full of incomprehensible lines or howlers, trying for period flavor with words like “Fritz” and “Heinie,” but then having an apologetic soldier say, “My bad.” Apparently, considerably improved English-language subtitles have already been prepared for the film’s future festival and awards screenings. Amazon should not have offered this version for sale.
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