Director: Aleksandr Atanesyan
Cast: Sergei Rychenkov, Aleksandr Golovin, Andrei Panin, Andrei Krasko
There is much controversy over this film as Russians challenged the truth and accuracy of the film, demanding that the director produced evidences ...
When it won the award at MTV,
"Presenter refuses to reveal MTV Russia film winner"
Quote, "Vladimir Menshov gasped as he read the contents of the envelope, looked up and said: "I'm not going to hand over an award to a film that discredits my country, let Pamela Anderson (another of the evening's presenters) do it instead"."
Quote, "MTV spokesman Vladimir Smirnov said Menshov's reaction had been totally spontaneous and "was not part of the scenario" planned by MTV. "Vladimir Menshov offered his own point of view on Svolochi. We treat Vladimir - one of the most well-known Russian film directors - with great respect, as well as the MTV viewers who made their choice," he said. "They watched the film and liked it.""
From other source, it seems like the director has based the story on Vladimir Kunins autobiographical novel, Mika and Alfred. But the author has later confessed that the story is fictitious.
It tells the story of boys who are sentenced to death penalty being given a supposedly second chance to pay back to their motherland, USSR. In the "school", they are taught tactics and skills to break into enemy line ...
-- I humbly think the director did break away from a few "moulds" that we are so accustomed to seeing in this kind of film ...
(i) Although the training "school" is tough, it does not take the typical route of "sadistic" trainers who have a heart, nor "in the end, you will know i am a good instructor", etc
(ii) Although many tragic incidents do occur, it does not fall into melodrama ... instead, they are depicted straight in the face, with all its grimness and gravity ... and life goes on ...
(iii) Although it seems to be a story about war, it does not have many "bombs" and "attacks" ... instead, it should be understood as a film about undertsanding humanity and bonds ...
If we are willing to overlook its historical accuracy, the film is very stirring and depressing ... recommended!