Director: Karen Shakhnazarov (Vanished Empire, Ward No. 6)
Screenplay: Aleksandr Borodyanskiy, Karen Shakhnazarov
Novel: Ilya Boyashov
Producers: Galina Shadur, Karen Shakhnazarov
Starring: Aleksey Vertkov, Vitaliy Kishchenko, Valeriy Grishko, Dmitriy Bykovskiy-Romashov, Gerasim Arkhipov, Aleksandr Vakhov
MPAA Rating: NR
Running time: 104 min.
Country of Origin: Russia
Fans of minimal war films will likely be right at home with Karen Shakhnazarov’s battle tank movie. Though clearly on a smaller budget, Shakhnazarov knows exactly where every ruble needs to go and where it doesn’t. So you’re not going to see huge, epic tank battles reminiscent of something like Patton. Rather, this is a personal vendetta film in which a Russian soldier with amnesia needs to destroy the mysterious Nazi tank that appears to be impenetrable and possibly even supernatural in nature.
After being burned alive but miraculously surviving, Red Army Sergeant Ivan Naydenov becomes obsessed with the destruction of this somewhat mystical enemy with no face. With the help of the Russian high command and a new super tank built for being up to the task, Naydenov hides in swamps and forests and fox holes with his state-of-the-art weapon of war just lying in wait for his opponent. Bested each time, even after the war has officially been won, Naydenov continues his search for the tank that disfigured him leading to an exciting and harrowing (almost western-like genre) stand off in an abandoned village between the two tanks.
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