We have our big bloated military epics, the Russians have theirs. You’ll be able to see an example of the latter when Saving Leningrad is released in America this December.
You know the basic beats of a historical military picture, and they do it no differently there: it’s based on a true story and concerns a disaster that our heroes have to escape and survive through. It’s September of 1941, and war has consumed most of the world (it won’t truly become World War II until America enters the battle in a few months).
Leningrad is under attack, and many of its citizens flee onto an evacuation barge. But they’re no safer there…a vicious storm starts to topple the barge. But wait…there are planes on the horizon; maybe they’ve come to rescue them? …..Nope, they’ve got swastikas….
The barge sent an SOS signal but the German planes were first to arrive at the scene instead of the rescue. The barge broke into several pieces after the attack and the line connecting the barge with the tow boat broke as well but “The Eagle” team risked their lives while saving people drowning in the icy water: the tow boat team picked up 216 people during 5 hours of the toughest rescue operation. But around 1200 people died in the depths of Ladoga.
On September 19, 1941 the Naval forces issued an order that forbade the transporting of people on board of barges along Ladoga. The death of Barge 752 was put in the secret archives. It was only in 2004 when the files about this tragedy were published.
Saving Leningrad has made huge bank in its home country, becoming one of Russia’s biggest box office hits in 2019. Now it’s heading here. Whether they mean theaters or DVD / VOD is an unanswered question, but we should learn that part soon. Saving Leningrad will be released with subtitles this holiday season.