My dear god... what a magnificent piece. I have never imagined a visual document so unpolluted and pristine of day-to-day life during WW2 existed. Images so brutally unadulterated are indeed extremely hard to find! ....If there was only a way to convince MUBI to offer this as a free download as a film of this importance should be shared with a wider public!
No heroics, just people shifting like film extras about the streets, undergoing the traumas and ordeals of history. Surprising to see how horses had given way to motor traffic in the Soviet Union. Was it because the camera operators were instructed to show a modern aspect of the city. Rarely shown in war films, the invading German armies relied on hundreds of thousands of horses.
Good documentary, interesting and most likely rare footage. I personally enjoyed the lack of narration. If you're interested in WW2 you will probably appreciate this choice as the pictures are powerful enough and speak for themselves, also they are in chronological order from the beginning of the siege to the end. I don't think there's much space left for confusion...
What a grand use of visual storytelling. The lack of a voice over giving 'documentary style' information dramatically strengthen the emotional power. What more can you add to seeing two women handing over a shrouded dead child to be added to a mass grave by the 'attendant'? It rediscovers the power of visuals that mass literacy destroyed.
Despite the eeriness and desolation of the images it is difficult to give meaning to what the viewer is watching. There is a high degree of randomness in the narrative which arguably only reinforces the feelings of sorrow and loneliness but weakens the context. After a while the feeling of going nowhere in straight line is deeply seated & the film continues plodding, trudging through snow in the cold Russian winter.