This film was commissioned by Soviet Television for VGIK students to make a film to be aired on Victory Day, the anniversary of the Capitulation of Nazi Germany in WWII, May 9, 1959. It was aired each year on this day for at least 4 years beginning with the initial 1959 broadcast. The film was made by several students at VGIK, including Andrei Tarkovsky, as well as a few professional actors and local residents of the town of Kursk, and the Soviet Army supplied props and extras. It was filmed in Kursk between October 1958 and January 1959 and edited at VGIK between January and April 1959. The film was lost after it stopped being broadcast in the 1960s, but the camera negatives were discovered in the mid-1990s.

This is Andrei Tarkovsky's second student film while he was studying at VGIK.