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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A fairly good historical movie but not a great movie ..., 22 Nov. 2009
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This review is from: Tali-Ihantala 1944 ( Tali-Ihantala ) (DVD)
"Tali-Ihantala" describes the last, and "decisive", battle of the Continuation War between Finland and the USSR.
The film shows the Finnish fighters and commanders in the critical days when they succeeded in blunting the Red Army offensive and "save" Finland from Soviet occupation. Soon after, many Russian units were send towards the Baltic front, against the Wehrmacht. In fact, Stalin probably didn't plan to turn Finland in a "Popular Republic", considering the hostility of the country toward the Soviet Union.
"Tali-Ihantala" is a very good re-enactment of the battle, with reals Stugs III battling reals T-34 and JSU-152, and is a must-have for any WW2 buff but suffered from a lack of quality on the "pure" movie side. The characters are very difficult to follows and I just barely succeeded thanks to my knowledge of the topic. The movie is also entirely shown from the Finnish side and the Soviets are just a mass of troops and tanks ...
Also, I'm not a "politicaly-correct" mind, but the German contribution to the battle is lightly covered with a few, historical and fictional, views of Gefechtverband Kuhlmey, a fighter-bomber unit send by Hitler, along with AT rockets and some ground troops, to support his ally. Even if Finland was probably the most honest of the Hitler supporters, firstly fighting to get back its lost territories of the 1939-1940 Winter War against the USSR, it ends along the most terrifying partner to be found. But, in the movie, the Germans seem to be nice knights of the air, protecting the weak against a terrifying opponent. The Finland situation wasn't the easiest in the war, and I personnally have great sympathy for the Finns, but the movie is clearly too manichean in my humble opinion.
The bonuses aren't very remarkable, some with no English captions ...
If you like good reenactment, with many action scenes, with a realistic side, buy "Tali-Ihantala", but do not expect a great film nor a splendid history lesson. In any case, the fact a movie exist about such a forgotten battle - outside Finland - is remarkable, so I end on a relatively positive note.
Anyway, I found "Talvisota" - the Winter War -, also a Finnish movie, much better.
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Location: France

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