Battle of Sevastopol

Recommended

Contemporary World Cinema | 2015 | 122 minutes

Stranger Says:

Glossy and gorgeous glorification of the Soviet war machine wrapped up in a feminist package, sponsored by the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, the Russian Military-Historical Society, and with support of the Ukrainian State film society. But the Soviets might deserve a little glory—they did win the war, and the women-driven war narrative is fresh. Good blood and guts battle scenes, but no piss and shit. A+ sniper duels and surprisingly moving tragic romantic subplots. The jokes are bad, but the cinematography makes up for it—washed-out colors with occasional intensities of red. (RICH SMITH)

SIFF Says:

A joint production between Russia and Ukraine, Battle of Sevastopol is a blockbuster war biopic that immediately topped the box offices in former Soviet territories upon its release last year. Lyudmila Mikhaylovna Pavlichenko (Yulia Peresild), also known as Luda, was born one year before the 1917 Russian Revolution in Odessa. Her mother was a teacher and her father was a law enforcement major for the Soviet Union. Luda is a serious woman with a fascinating past. She defended Odessa and Sevastopol against the Germans and quickly became the best female sharpshooter in history. In 1942, Joseph Stalin sends her to the US to attempt to convince Roosevelt to join the war. She ends up peaking the interest of Eleanor Roosevelt (Joan Blackham), who is curious to know more about this beautiful young girl known to the Germans as “Lady Death”, and who takes her under her wing, forming an unexpected friendship. Battle of Sevastopol was filmed on location in the Crimean cities of Sevastopol, Balaklava, Kiev, and Odessa. The production started a year before current conflicts between the two countries, which of course threatened the project. "Despite the complicated period in the relationship between Russia and Ukraine, we simply excluded politics from our work," says director Sergey Mokritsky. “For me this film is part of our joint history.”
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Film Credits
Director
Sergey Mokritskiy
Cast
Yulia Peresild, Joan Blacham, Evgeniy Tsyganov, Vitali Linetski
Festivals
SIFF 2016