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Artikelnummer 385
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THE FALL OF BERLIN (1949) * with switchable English subtitles *

Mikheil Chiaureli, Mikheil Gelovani, V. Savelyev and M. Petrunkin
$13.99

THE FALL OF BERLIN (Padeniye Berlina)  (1949):

Entertaining, but rather simplistic, film about the war on the Eastern Front, which ultimately led to a Soviet victory in 1945.  It is obvious from the rich, pastel colors of this film, as well as the equipment used in the film's scenes, that no expense was spared in the production of this work.  Viewers with a poor to mediocre understanding of postwar politics will probably be offended by quite a bit of what is shown in the film:  Hitler is shown as a simpleminded buffoon, who, at one point in the film when he loses his temper, is patronized by both Goebbels and Goering and told he is tired and needs to take a rest;  Wehrmacht generals are shown standing up to Hitler and telling him, as early as the offensive on Moscow in 1941, that it is impossible to beat the Soviet Union;  Churchill is shown as a double-crossing, hunchedback creature intent on carrying forth the battle against Bolshevism after Hitler's defeat, no matter what the cost to world peace; and an advisor to the British government is shown visiting Goering in Germany in 1943 to negotiate the sale of chrome and tungsten to shore up Germany's war effort.  It doesn't help that the British representative openly declares that the western Allies have done everything possible to help Germany in its war against the USSR by purposely delaying the opening of a second front in western Europe.  Interestingly, while the Soviet Union was in an all out (cold) war with the west by the time this film was made, Stalin's personal affection for President Roosevelt is clearly shown in the sympathetic portrayal of FDR in the Yalta Conference scene.

This film is much less about historical fact finding or setting the record straight about the USSR's contribution to the defeat of fascism in the Second World War than it is about "drawing the lines".   It is none-too-subtle about convincing even the simplest of viewers that the western Allies in 1949 were simply the heir to Nazism's plans vis-a-vis the peaceloving peoples of the Eastern Bloc.  Still, if you can get past the gross distortions of history and the disgustingly obvious adoration of history's worst mass murderer (Stalin), the film is well worth the investment.


DVD-R IS IN RUSSIAN WITH OPTIONAL ENGLISH SUBTITLES.  
APPROXIMATELY 151 MINUTES.  

THERE ARE MINOR SOUND ISSUES AND THE PICTURE IS NOT THE SHARPEST  (which is OK, because Stalin wasn't the brightest bulb in the box of dictators), BUT OVERALL, IT'S QUITE WATCHABLE AND WORTH THE INVESTMENT.

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