The Brest Fortress (2010)

Posted: September 30, 2011 in World War 2
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Title: Брестская Крепость (The Brest Fortress)
Director: Alexander Kott

The Red Army’s defense of the Brest Fortress against the Nazis in June-July 1941 is one of the most resonant episodes of the Great Patriotic War. The legend about the feat of the defenders of the fortress—the Citadel on the Bug, as it is often called—emerged during the Khrushchev Thaw. The myth about the fearless warriors, who fought Hitler’s army deep in the enemy’s rear for almost a month was formed in the mid 1960s, after the publication of a book by the Moscow journalist Sergei Smirnov (the father & grandfather respectively of filmmaker Andrei Smirnov & Dunia Smirnova). In the 1970s, at the suggestion of the First Secretary of the Belarus Communist Party, Peter Masherov, the Brest Fortress became the ideological & tourist brand for Belarus, as well as an occasion for the propaganda of Soviet internationalism: the garrison at the Fortress had included a dozen nationalities of the USSR. For the authorities of modern Belarus, the history of the Brest Fortress & its defenders is, above all, an example of the “fraternal attitudes” to allied Russia. It is no wonder that this well-known plot was chosen for the first film project of the Television & Radio Organization (TRO) of the Union state.

The film project was preceded by a documentary film of the same title, made by TRO a year before the beginning of the feature film. According to scriptwriter Konstantin Vorob’ev, it was the success of the television screenings of the documentary that pushed the management of TRO into the direction of a live-action film for the silver screen. The film-project The Brest Fortress was financed from the budget of the Allied State of Russia & Belarus at a ratio of 60 & 40 percent respectively, with an overall budget of approximately $7 million. The ideological inspiration for the film came from the former television comedian & now head of TRO, Igor’ Ugol’nikov, who emphasized from the very beginning the public importance of the project. The Brest Fortress should tell the young generation of Russians & Belorusians “the truth about the war”, which has been deformed in recent narratives. In particular, young men should know that the main contribution to the victory over Nazism came from the USSR.

Film review written by Anton Sidorenko

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Comments
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