VICTORY DAY PARADE (2014)
Originally filmed in high definition, but since compressed for view on all TVs, what very little of the quality lost is amply made up for by the incredibly brilliant and vibrant colors of the scenery and soldiers of the Russian Federation on parade in Red Square on 09 May 2014, commemorating the defeat of Fascist Germany in the Second World War. Once scorned and rejected in post-communist Russia, a spirit of pride and nostalgia for the USSR is very much reflected in both the uniforms and paraphernalia of the marching soldiers. There is no mistaking the praise of both the Soviet Union and its successor, the Russian Federation, in this gathering. Spectacular pageantry!
Approx. 62 mins. In Russian with no subtitles. Excellent quality, in spite of the transformation of an HD recording into standard DVD format (see video sample).
THE RED ARMY (1939)
This film, narrated in the English language and put out shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War, is anything but hostile to the the Soviet Union and its Red Army. On the contrary, it provides a fascinating look at the Soviet armed forces and includes highlights of recruit training, military maneuvers, and even a performance by the Red Army Ensemble (conducted by the soon-to-be-famous Professor Alexandrov). The film concludes with a military parade in Red Square.
Approx. 22 mins. In English. Softness in the picture (see video sample).
I SERVE THE SOVIET UNION (1967)
Unfortunately, this film is a bit disappointing. It's an English-language excerpt of the abovementioned film commemorating the 1967 Soviet military exercise, which took place shortly before the 50th anniversary of the Russian Revolution. The exercise involved more than 500,000 soldiers and pitted "western" troops against Soviet forces in a battle for Soviet territory. The filming of the event was co-opted by the U.S. Department of Defense for use in basic training (as I remember only too well and which I'm sure former veterans will probably recall, too). The film was meant to both enlighten, awe and scare American recruits into developing a respect and wariness for their Warsaw Pact enemies. However, while the audio is good enough (and accurate, though also loaded with anti-Soviet propaganda), the print is washed out, had a very strong red tint to it (which we removed a lot of) and is not especially good in its visual quality. Nevertheless, a more than interesting supplement to the subject matter on this DVD.
Approx. 33 mins. In English. Poor video quality (see video sample).