The Battle of Russia (1943)

FRANK CAPRA, ANATOLE LITVAK

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  USA, 1943.  Screenplay by , , , featuring selections adapted from Mein Kampf by .  Produced by Frank Capra.  Music by .  Film Editing by .  Academy Awards 1943.  

Exemplary entry in the Why We Fight series, and one of the longest, this is among many World War II documentaries that act as a fascinating record of a time long gone by: Russia is a sympathetic ally against the evils of Nazi oppression, their socialist society presented as a noble idea and their struggle against the enemy an admirable fight.  Terrific footage tells the story of Hitler’s failed attempt to capture the mammoth nation during a winter campaign that saw him eventually retreat thanks to a resilient population and their sueprior ability to exist in Russia’s climate.  Thanks to its length (the series was usually one-reel information pieces), it was originally projected in two separate parts, but you can enjoy it combined in one now.

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