Ernst Wiltmann | Parry Sound, Ontario Canada | 06/19/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Imagine to fly over one of the planets most hostile and desolate
arctic enviroments, where navigation is hazardous even for peacetimes, where war is not your only enemy. The personal ordeal of fear and shattered nerves opposed by a deep feeling of duty, is portrayed exceptionally well.
Anyway, I strongly recomand the viewer to watch the well documented extra's first, if your knowledge about this theater of war is limited. Unlike in the west, this conflict was fought with no quarters given, none offered. Be aware, that nazi propaganda not only considered slavic culture inferior and is inhabitants less human, they wanted to enslave russia for a greater german reich. Young impressionable german soldiers believed in this propaganda scheme, and executed its policies with an to date unseen ruthlessness. On the other side You had the russian soldiers fighting for their dear existance, fueled
by memories of rage. At this point of the conflict, you could hardly find a soldier who was not affected by personal loss.
This movie is not to be meant to compeate with special effects,
but with carrying a well crafted human interest story.
So there are plenty of action scenes. Most impressive was the fotography of the northern ocean, with it's inhospitable islands.
I remember a scene, where the crew of a russian reconnaissance seaplane finds a lightly crashlanded german fighterplane, with a dead german pilot sitting in the cockpit, the coffee in his thermos-can still warm. Well researched detail, not only of the weaponry, but also the daily trappings. If you are an airplane model fan, You will see plenty of russian and german airplane types. I should also mention, that the movie carries a lot of northern ambiance and russian culture, songs of the time, cantine
life and a litle romance. Heroism, tragic, some marine humor,
this movie has it all.
A movie well worth watching twice, because it carries many details that a viewer might not all digest at the first run."