"The Battle of Stalingrad: For the Motherland! For Stalin!"
Though no one thought it could be done, “Save Stalingrad,” ordered Stalin, “whatever the cost!” When the Soviet victory at Stalingrad (1942-1943) announced that the Nazi invaders were now losing the war, Fridrikh Ermler, director of the great Soviet silent classic, Fragment of an Empire (Oblomok imperii, 1929), decided to make a film about Red Army generals, The Turning Point (Velikiy perelom, 1945), by celebrating the Battle of Stalingrad. The government insisted that everything be fictionalized, and even the name Stalingrad could not be used. Battle scenes, filmed in the ruins of Leningrad in 1945, were made with the full cooperation of the Soviet Army and the participation of the soldiers on the Leningrad front. As Ermler noted, the picture’s originality lay in its depiction of the psychological stress on the generals who commit thousands of troops to their deaths. The Turning Point joins two later pictures that also emphasize Stalin’s personality cult during the Great Patriotic War: Vladimir Petrov’s staggering Battle of Stalingrad (Stalingradskaya bitva, 1949) and Mikhail Chiaureli’s glorious Agfacolor spectacle, The Fall of Berlin (Padenie Berlina, 1950).
Directed by F. Ermler. Starring M. Derzhavin, P. Andrievsky, Yu. Tolubeyev, A. Abrikosov.
USSR, 1945. B&W, 108 Minutes. Russian dialogue, English subtitles. Digitally remastered from 35mm print for superb quality.
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: • Original Promotional Materials Slideshow: Posters and Stills
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NTSC Region 0 encoding (Entire World)