24 May 2013 | neigenoirejz
Bleak, emotionally crushing, beautiful
Is one's life the most valuable thing one can possess? Are all ideals and philosophies mere fallacy, not worth sacrificing one's life for? These are the questions this film touches upon. And does so brilliantly.
By today's standards, the film might be viewed as somewhat slow-paced and indeed, without giving too much away, certain scenes are a bit stretched out and in my opinion, could have been made shorter for stronger emotional impact. Nonetheless, the amazing performance by all the main actors kept me glued to the screen most of the time. The hopelessness and the terror of war, intensified by the unforgiving Russian winter, permeates the film from start to finish.
The film presents us with food for thought not covered much by modern cinema, touching upon something that isn't often discussed openly in modern society. We avoid it because it lurks inside each of us and we fear it - venality and betrayal in face of death.
Our life is everything we know - the entire world ends with it, as Portnov, the Nazi interrogator says in the film. Would YOU sacrifice it for something? For anything? This film will force you to ponder this question and reflect on your values and yourself as a human being.