‘To see Stalin’: Newest World War II film aims to stir up Russians

VOSKRESENSK: Soviet mechanics slog through a mud-covered forest on a mission that would ultimately help change on the eve of World War II.

An engineer who wants to convince the kremlin leader, he has designed a new tank he has Based on a little-known chapter of Soviet history from 1940 this is the scenario for a new film being shot outside Moscow with state funding.

But his legendary T-34 tank went into mass production and eventually helped Moscow push back Nazi forces after their devastating invasion of the USSR in 1941.

The movie  currently with the working title “To See Stalin” is the latest in a string of government-backed productions about inspiring tales from World War II aimed at bolster patriotic fervor that the Kremlin can then tap.

The crimes of the Soviet leadership while downplaying the tragedies of the war and also play fast and loose with the truth.

The 32-year-old director Kim Druzhinin told AFP as he oversaw the shoot ,he said that the idea came from the culture ministry, which has been actively pushing to retell the stories of the heroes from our country’s past,”

Druzhinin’s latest project centers on the epic tale of Mikhail Koshkin, who in the spring of 1940 drove his prototype tank more than 2,000 kilometers (1,250 miles) across the Soviet Union to pitch the design to Stalin.

Druzhinin said “It is tragic story about a designer who got his tank into production at the cost of his own life”. The film which the director says he wants to shoot “in the style of a Soviet adventure movie”  has raised some eyebrows over what is expected to be a positive portrayal of supremo Stalin in a fleeting appearance at the end of the film.

In its place, officials highlight his role in winning the war against Germany, maintaining the conflict that claimed an estimated 22 million Soviet lives more than 70 years ago as a sacrosanct rallying point for society today.

Druzhinin said that Stalin is the culmination of the film, the destination, the reward you must receive like at the end of a fairytale.

The film received the bulk of its financing  60 million rubles ($1 million, 860,000 Euros) from the Russian culture ministry. Those involved in the production have no doubt over its aim.

Actor Dmitry Podnozov  said “When I read the script and saw that it was ordered by the culture ministry  immediately understood that it was aimed at stirring up patriotism,” Dmitary Podnozov who plays one of Koshkin’s crew.

Last year his WWII action movie called “Panfilov’s 28” came out about the legendary resistance of a group of Soviet soldiers who sacrificed their lives destroying 18 German tanks advancing on Moscow in 1941.

Documents declassified by Russia’s state archive in 2015 showed that the famed incident was in fact invented by a Soviet journalist before becoming part of the Soviet war propaganda.

The revelations sparked a scandal and pitched the head of the archive Sergei Mironenko into a conflict with culture minister Vladimir Medinsky.

Mironenko later left his post. And when Druzhinin’s version of the story hit the big screen, Medinsky lashed out against those who questioned its worth.

Medinsky told Russian news wire Interfax “My most profound conviction is that even if this story was invented from the beginning, even if Pamfilov’s troops did not exist, even if nothing happened  this is a sacred legend that cannot be touched.”

Source: AFP

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