Israel - 2021
Director: Roman Shumunov Docudrama
Russian.German.Polish. Ukrainian w/ English subtitles
There are war movies that are so real and so honest that we know we are seeing a vision of the real thing , not an adventure movie or a thriller to glorify a hero or to glorify combat itself. This is such a film, and we pleased to have it for our WJFF this year. As gripping as it was to preview on a small screen , it is even more powerful on the big screen in the theatre . Leonid Berenshtein is now a quiet old man living in a modest area of Haifa, but he was one of the most significant figures in the Soviet army in the final days of WNll. . He is the man who located the secret facility where the Germans developed their last hope for victory - the V2 missiles . As he faces himself in his final years , Berenshtein returns to the past and reveals the sights that accompany his whole life - women and children burned before his eyes , partisans he executed , his brilliant war tactics , the love of his life which he relinquished , his encounter with the Holocaust and the moment he chose to refuse an order , break into a German prison and release Jews sentenced to death . In the last years of his life, he faces the decisions he made and recounts how he found not only Hitler's doomsday weapon , but also himself. The sense of alienation the film's hero felt in wartime is familiar to Roman Shumunov , the director , who immigrated to Israel as a teenager . As the grandson of veterans of the Soviet Army , he and the screenwriter Simon Shechter , a director of The Museum of the Jewish Soldier in WWII , are bringing recognition to the thousands of Jewish soldiers that fought the Nazi enemy on all fronts and in every role.