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Author, film researcher and member of the Swedish Military History Commission.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Russian War Movies Getting Better

While I lived in Russia under Boris Yeltsin not many memorable war movies were made. In fact, I can´t remember a single one. In recent years, whatever one thinks of Vladimir Putin, things have improved on that front. Here follow some movie tips.

In the movie "The Star" (2002) one gets to follow a group of army scouts during Operation Bagration:

In "9th Company" the main characters are part of the Soviet airborne forces in Afghanistan:

In "Attack on Leningrad" (2009) the story of the siege of Leningrad is told in a very fictional story - but it is still well worth seeing. NB its more of a drama than a classic war movie though.

"We Are From the Future" (2008) is a mix of WWII and science fiction. Here follows one of my favourite scenes from it, which starts off as a scene from a traditional Soviet war movie but then turns into something very different when the four visitors from the future introduce some tunes from Russia of the 21st century. Watching this scene will not, I think, spoil the experience of watching the whole film, and there are many scenes as good as this one IMHO:

Here is the trailer for the 2010 sequel:

You´ll find plenty of other clips from these and other Russian war movies on Youtube. The DVDs are sold in Russia and in some cases also in the west. The Leningrad-movie being most easily available.


  1. You definitely picked out some of the more interesting recently films. Zvezda is my favorite and "We are from the future" 1 and 2 are excellent movies, as is 9th Company. The new "Burnt by the Sun 2" is utter garbage, unfortunately, as was the series "Shtraf Bat". In terms of contemporary wars, you might be interested in "Grozovye Vorota" and "Chest imeju". There was also another series a while back entitled "Echelon", which I enjoyed. And most recently there was a series about pilots, "Nebo V Ogne", which I have yet to watch but it looks promising.

  2. I too am a fan of Zvezda, and Lars, if you have not seen it yet I'd recommend to you "Cuckoo" (Kukushka) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0308476/

  3. Thank you for sharing this. Zvezda is very good, but I prefer the original version that came out in 1948.

    The problem with the modern day Russian war movies is that they tend to have a too obvious political orientation. In the Soviet times they were glorifying the Red Army, now they spit on it. Zvezda 2005 is one exception of being a neutral and well-done movie.

    Attack on Leningrad is full of innacuracies and is a spit in the face to all who defended Leningrad in 1941-1944.

    9th company is too obvious copy of Hollywood and IS NOT based on real events.

    We are from the future part 2 is too ideological and badly made, too.

    Generally, speaking about the Russian war movies from 1990s and 2000s, I would only recommend Svoi (Ours) and Zvezda (The Star).