Connect with us




MUST-SEE: 6 blockbuster films about the Battle of Stalingrad

75 years after the epic clash that changed the course of World War II, here are the five greatest movies about Stalingrad




(RBTH) – November marks the 75th anniversary of the Soviet counter-offensive at Stalingrad. The Red Army’s victory over the Nazis in this bloodiest of battles is considered to be a turning point in World War II. RB looks at how Stalingrad has been portrayed in cinema, and there are at least six great movies about this historic battle that are worth seeing.

1. Nights and Days (1944)

This is the first Soviet movie about Stalingrad. Shot in 1944, the film is based on a play by iconic Soviet writer Konstantin Simonov and tells the story of Stalingrad’s defense from August to November 1942, which was the period of the most ferocious fighting. The movie shows that the “real heroes who stood their ground in Stalingrad were officers and soldiers of the Red Army,” not the Communist Party and its leaders.

One of the film’s main roles was performed by a young actor, Yury Lubimov, who later became director of Moscow’s legendary Taganka Theater.

2. The Turning Point (1945)

“A critical depiction of the struggles of war, it is a harrowing portrayal of the lives of soldiers away from home, fighting in ruthless conditions on the cold Russian front, unsure of how the encounters will benefit either side. The panoramic views of the landscapes and the dark, melancholy sequences of the dialogues, which are Ermler’s signature, are wonderfully executed and almost complete the expressions and performances of the actors,” said a contemporary reviewer, describing the 1945 Soviet movie directed by Fridrikh Ermler.

The film’s creators confessed later that the idea to make the film appeared immediately after the Soviet victory at Stalingrad, which at that time looked like a miracle. The movie won a Grand Prix at the first Cannes Film Festival in September 1946.

3. Stalingrad: Dogs, do you want to live forever? (1959)

The title refers to the words of Prussia’s King Friedrich the Great. “You cursed rascals, do you want to live forever?” Friedrich allegedly said to his soldiers when they were fleeing the battlefield in panic.

This was West Germany’s first movie on the topic, made at about the time when the last German POW had returned home from the Soviet Union. The movie centers on the lives of Wehrmacht soldiers and their allies from Romania before and after their surrender at Stalingrad, upon which they were taken prisoner. The movie’s director used authentic archival footage in the film.

4. They Fought for Their Country (1976)

This film by Oscar-winning Soviet director Sergei Bondarchuk stands out among movies devoted to Stalingrad. Based on the eponymous novel by Mikhail Sholokhov, who won the Nobel Prize in literature, the film tells the story of a platoon that resists the German offensive at Stalingrad in the summer of 1942. The famous Soviet writer and actor, Vasiliy Shukshyn, played his last role in this movie, and overall the film starred many leading Soviet actors of the time, including Bondarchuk himself. The cinema magazine, Soviet Screen, called it the best movie of 1976.

5. Enemy at the Gates (2001)

This movie is probably the most famous in the West about the Battle of Stalingrad. Made by French director Jean-Jacques Annaud, the film’s central conflict is a personal duel between two snipers played by Jude Law and Ed Harris. While the film was met with a mixed reception in Russia, it was praised for its scale and exquisite visuals. However, it was criticized for many historical blunders and clichés. “The budget of $85 million does not bring shallow characters to life, nor make the boring love affair touching, nor the awful dialogues natural,” said one reviewer. Another critic called the movie “unbearably kitschy” for a film that “pretends to portray…the greatest battle in the history of warfare.”

In another review the idea of the film was expressed this way: “Soviet soldiers are whipped to go to fight in a manner that cattle are driven to the slaughterhouse, and they are shot dead when they retreat by their own punitive units. They are dirty and miserable unlike the well-groomed and well-equipped Germans.”

6. Stalingrad (2013)

One of the latest Russian attempts to depict the battle was an ambitious project with a large budget by local standards – $30 million. Directed by Feodor Bondarchuk, the son of the creator of They Fought for Their Country, it was a box office success that grossed more than $68 million.

Despite being a financial success, the movie stirred controversy, and the Culture Ministry was asked to ban the movie because it “made Nazism look heroic and twisted historical facts.” A petition to forbid the film was signed by 34,000 people.

The ministry never publicly responded to that plea. What might have provoked such a reaction from some viewers? It could have been the portrayal of German soldiers; one review noted that they were shown as “humans,” with capacities to feel and love.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Notify of


Photos of swastika on Ukrainian mall stairway creates a stir [Video]

Ukrainian nationalist press in damage-control mode to explain away the Nazi sign, but they forgot the name of the street the mall is on.

Seraphim Hanisch



One of the aspects of news about Ukraine that does not make it past the gatekeepers of the American and Western news media is how a significant contingent of Ukrainian nationalists have espoused a sense of reverence for Nazis. The idea that this could even happen anywhere in the world in an open manner makes the claim seem too absurd to be taken seriously. Gone are the days when the Nazi swastika adorned streets and buildings in Europe. Right?

Well, maybe, wrong.

This was seen in Kyiv’s Gorodok (or Horodok, if you insist) Gallery, a shopping center in that city, located on Bandera Avenue.

The pro-nationalist news service UNIAN wasted no time going to press with their explanation of this incident, which admittedly may be accurate:

Children and teenagers who participated in the All-Ukrainian break dance festival held in the Kyiv-based Gorodok Gallery shopping mall were shocked to see a swastika image projected onto an LED staircase.

The mall administration apologized to visitors, explaining saying that their computer system had apparently been hacked.

“The administration and staff have no relation to whatever was projected onto the LED-staircase, and in no way does it support such [an] act. Now we are actively searching for those involved in the attack,” it said in a statement.

According to Gorodok Gallery’s administrative office, it was not the first time a cyber breach took place.

As reported earlier, Ukraine is believed to be a testing ground for cyberattacks, many of which are launched from Russia. Hackers have earlier targeted critical energy infrastructure, state institutions, banks, and large businesses.

This time, it appears, hackers aimed to feed the Kremlin’s narrative of “Nazis in power in Ukraine” and create a relevant hype-driving viral story for Russian media to spread it worldwide.

The Gorodok Gallery also apologized on its Facebook page and said that this was a result of hacking.

But what about the street that the mall is on? From the self-same Facebook page, this is what we see:

To translate, for those who do not read Ukrainian or Russian, the address says the following:

23 Steven Bandera Prospekt, Kyiv, Ukraine 04073

This street was formerly called “Moscow Avenue.” Big change, as we shall see.

Steven Bandera got his birthday designated as a national holiday in Ukraine last December. He is known in Ukraine’s history for one thing. According to the Jerusalem Post:

The street where the shopping mall is located is named for Stepan Bandera, a Ukrainian nationalist who briefly collaborated with Nazi Germany in its fight against Russia.

His troops are believed to have killed thousands of Jews.

Several Israeli papers picked this bit of news up, and of course, the reasons are understandable. However, for the West, it appears possible that this news event will largely go unnoticed, even by that great nation that is often called “Israel’s proxy”, the United States.

This is probably because for certain people in the US, there is a sense of desperation to mask the nature of events that are happening in Ukraine.

The usual fare of mainstream news for the West probably consists of things like “Putin’s military seizes innocent Ukrainian sailors in Kerch incident” or, “Ukraine’s Orthodox Church declared fully independent by Patriarch of Constantinople” (not that too many Americans know what a Constantinople even is, anyway), but the overriding narrative for the American people about this country is “Ukraine are the good guys, and Russia are the bad guys,” and this will not be pushed aside, even to accommodate the logical grievance of Israel to this incident.

If this article gets to Western papers at all, it will be the UNIAN line they adhere to, that evil pro-Russia hackers caused this stairway to have a swastika to provoke the idea that Ukraine somehow supports Naziism.

But UNIAN neglected to mention that the street name was recently changed to Stephan Bandera (in 2016), and no one appears to have hacked this. Nor does UNIAN talk about the Azov fighters that openly espoused much of the Nazi ideology. For nationalist Ukrainians, this is all for the greater good of getting rid of all things Russia.

A further sad fact about this is the near impossibility of getting assuredly honest and neutral information about this and other similar happenings. Both Ukrainian nationalists and Russian media agencies have dogs in the race, so to speak. They are both personally connected to these events. However, the Russian media cannot be discounted here, because they do offer a witness and perspective, probably the closest to any objective look at what is going on in Ukraine. We include a video of a “torchlight march” that took place in 2017 that featured such hypernationalist activity, which is not reported in the West.

More such reports are available, but this one seemed the best one to summarize the character of what is going on in the country.

While we do not know the motive and identities of whoever programmed the swastika, it cannot really be stated that this was just a random publicity stunt in a country that has no relationship with Nazi veneration.

The street the mall is on bears witness to that.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading


Putin: If mid-range missiles deployed in Europe, Russia will station arms to strike decision centers

Putin: If US deploys mid-range missiles in Europe, Russia will be forced to respond.





Via RT…

If the US deploys intermediate-range missiles in Europe, Moscow will respond by stationing weapons aimed not only against missiles themselves, but also at command and control centers, from which a launch order would come.

The warning came from President Vladimir Putin, who announced Russia’s planned actions after the US withdraws from the INF Treaty – a Cold War-era agreement between Washington and Moscow which banned both sides form having ground-based cruise and ballistic missiles and developing relevant technology.

The US is set to unilaterally withdraw from the treaty in six months, which opens the possibility of once again deploying these missiles in Europe. Russia would see that as a major threat and respond with its own deployments, Putin said.

Intermediate-range missiles were banned and removed from Europe because they would leave a very short window of opportunity for the other side to decide whether to fire in retaliation after detecting a launch – mere minutes. This poses the threat of an accidental nuclear exchange triggered by a false launch warning, with the officer in charge having no time to double check.

“Russia will be forced to create and deploy weapon systems, which can be used not only against the territories from which this direct threat would be projected, but also against those territories where decision centers are located, from which an order to use those weapons against us may come.” The Russian president, who was delivering a keynote address to the Russian parliament on Wednesday, did not elaborate on whether any counter-deployment would only target US command-and-control sites in Europe or would also include targets on American soil.

He did say the Russian weapon system in terms of flight times and other specifications would “correspond” to those targeting Russia.

“We know how to do it and we will implement those plans without a delay once the relevant threats against us materialize,”he said.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading


Russia’s Lukoil Halts Oil Swaps In Venezuela After U.S. Sanctions

Under the new wide-ranging U.S. sanctions, Venezuela will not be able to import U.S. naphtha which it has typically used to dilute its heavy crude grades.




Litasco, the international trading arm of Russia’s second-biggest oil producer Lukoil, stopped its oil swaps deals with Venezuela immediately after the U.S. imposed sanctions on Venezuela’s oil industry and state oil firm PDVSA, Lukoil’s chief executive Vagit Alekperov said at an investment forum in Russia.

Russia, which stands by Nicolas Maduro in the ongoing Venezuelan political crisis, has vowed to defend its interests in Venezuela—including oil interests—within the international law using “all mechanisms available to us.”

Because of Moscow’s support for Maduro, the international community and market analysts are closely watching the relationship of Russian oil companies with Venezuela.

“Litasco does not work with Venezuela. Before the restrictions were imposed, Litasco had operations to deliver oil products and to sell oil. There were swap operations. Today there are none, since the sanctions were imposed,” Lukoil’s Alekperov said at the Russian Investment Forum in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

Another Russian oil producer, Gazprom Neft, however, does not see major risks for its oil business in Venezuela, the company’s chief executive officer Alexander Dyukov said at the same event.

Gazprom Neft has not supplied and does not supply oil products to Venezuela needed to dilute the thick heavy Venezuelan oil, Dyukov said, noting that the Latin American country hadn’t approached Gazprom Neft for possible supply of oil products for diluents.

Under the new wide-ranging U.S. sanctions, Venezuela will not be able to import U.S. naphtha which it has typically used to dilute its heavy crude grades. Analysts expect that a shortage of diluents could accelerate beginning this month the already steadily declining Venezuelan oil production and exports.

Venezuela’s crude oil production plunged by another 59,000 bpd from December 2018 to stand at just 1.106 million bpd in January 2019, OPEC’s secondary sources figures showed in the cartel’s closely watched Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR) this week.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading


Your donations make all the difference. Together we can expose fake news lies and deliver truth.

Amount to donate in USD$:

5 100

Validating payment information...
Waiting for PayPal...
Validating payment information...
Waiting for PayPal...


Quick Donate

The Duran
Donate a quick 10 spot!


The Duran Newsletter