Beloved wartime story
Chapulina R | Tovarischi Imports, USA/RUS | 05/31/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This excellent and faithful rendition of Boris Vassilyev's "A zori zdes' tikhie..." is finally available on Amazon! The novella and film are beloved in Russia and count among my own personal favorites. The setting is May 1942, a remote artillery base somewhere north of besieged Leningrad and west of bombed-out Murmansk. Sergeant Major Fedot Vaskov is exasperated with the misbehavior of his gunners and demands replacements: "No drunks! No womanizers!" He gets his wish when his entire regiment is replaced with teenage girl gunners fresh out of artillery training. Confusion reigns when the very conservative Vaskov must deal with the decidedly unsoldierly girlish antics of his troops. And each girl comes to the Army with a personal history: a tragedy, a disgrace, a hardship, a vengeance, a purpose. Together, they defy their frazzled starshina (Vaskov) and bond with eachother. Then one morning two German paratroopers are sighted in the woods. Vaskov and a squad of five girls set out to capture the enemy: Beautiful, bold Zhenya, the only survivor of her massacred Army family. Rita, a young mother, already widowed by the war. Painfully shy Galya, raised in an orphanage. Liza, the sturdy but daydreaming daughter of a drunken forester. And the translator, Sonya, who fears for her Jewish family in Minsk. She had been studying in Moscow when Belorussia fell to the Fascists. Little do any of them realize, there are not two but sixteen Germans, not simply soldiers but highly trained, armed-to-the-teeth special forces! Vaskov and his untrained troops must distract the enemy, delay their mission, and alert headquarters of their presence. A matter of duty soon becomes a matter of life and death. Under fire the girls bond with their Sergeant Major and display individual ingenuity and valor. But this is a story about war and none of these Russians is a "Rambo." I've read the novella and watched the video a dozen times and always shed tears. Never-the-less, the story is inspiring, not depressing; and is considered one of the most realistic depictions of the War by a Soviet author. It has retained its popularity because of its endearing theme: the courage of ordinary Soviet people. I hope the DVD will have English subtitles so that non-Russian speakers will finally have a chance to experience this famous film."
A Masterwork...it should be viewed by all....
Raymond F. Gillis | Yonkers, New York | 07/19/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I cannot top the above review for detail or passion. I can add to it by saying this filmed should be viewed and studied by all...especially old, corrupt men who send youngsters thousands of miles to do their bidding.
This film is one of defense, loyality, love of country and culture and is also a striking example of WWII Soviet womanhood. The characters are so rich and thoughful and the direction expands their emotions and fears, hopes and dreams. Absolutely first rate.
Russian cinema is not about happy endings...because war, even in victory, is tragic. Yet it is about hope and courage, two things sadly missing from todays society.
It is also a chance for others to see how advanced Soviet culture was concerning things as common as simple nudity. Here it's celebrated and cultivated, in Western cinema it would've been considered evil or base. By the same token the film chooses not to gush blood from wounds etc...something Western cinema relishes and finds 'acceptable.' One has to wonder who's culture is truly rich and natural...and non explotive.
I adored this film...one of my favorites now. Please give it a chance and I'm quite sure you'll learn something both rich and valuable. If I could give this film 10 stars I gladly would...."
Almost unknown fine WWII Soviet Film
Galina | Virginia, USA | 01/25/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A zori zdes tikhie (1972) ...aka The Dawns Here Are Quiet - is an honest, realistic and very fine Soviet War film which is sadly un-known to the Western audiences. It was directed by a very talented director Stanislav Rostotsky who also made two of my favorite films, Belyy Bim - Chyornoe ukho (1970) ... aka White Bim Black Ear and Dozhivyom do ponedelnika (1969) aka We'll Live Till Monday .
Rostotsky chose perfect cast - the young and unknown performers who all shone in his movie. I also highly recommend the book by Boris Vasilyev of the same title - I still remember the day when I first read that rather short but unforgettable story about five young girls and their corporal Vaskov who was much older and who was not used to deal with the women-soldiers. What started as a comedy, soon became a compelling and gripping drama depicting an unequal fight of the group of five women and their leader against 16 Nazi paratroopers, specially trained and deadly dangerous that penetrated deep beyond the front-line.
Do you miss the USSR?
Zidar | Alaska | 04/10/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a film for the lovers of the good old days of the USSR. It's the kind of movie we'd have today if George Bush had a man sitting behind the director of every movie made in Hollywood. Having said that, it is a pretty good film, especially for those who like war films. It looks back at WW2 from the vantage point of 1972. The events dealt with in the movie are realistic and the soldiers are presented in a realistic manner. So there's two things different from what you'd find in an American film of that time. The way the story unfolds is predictably Soviet. This film is more accurate historically than the typical American movie of the war made back then. The uniforms and military protocol, as far as I can tell, are on the money. The Germans are also depicted accurately. There is a very interesting scene with one of the girls at her anti-aircraft gun shooting down a German plane. Also accurate. Best of all, there's a great party in the banya with the girls getting steam cleaned. The film has good sound in Russian and subtitles in at least English and French, maybe more. Anybody who collects war films should have this one."