Thursday, January 7, 2016

Stalingrad (Synapse Blu-ray)

While I can appreciate the historical significance of the documentary Stalingrad, I’m afraid this one left me just feeling horrible. It’s not a happy tale. It’s the real life account of what happened during one of the most devastating sieges in WWII. It’s important to watch, and I feel like a more complete person for it having heard countless interviews and having seen visualizations of the horrific conditions in Russia, but I don’t think it is an experience I would soon entertain again. The value here is educational. This is perfect for student research or simply making a better student history of us all. Synapse has offered a very nice package to present the world with this knowledge of yesteryear which fits in well with their recent release of Triumph of the Will.

My only question is… when did Synapse become so scholarly? (This is a joke of course. Those guys have been opening minds and feeding us knowledge with obscure titles for years).

Stalingrad comes in three parts. You can watch them separately or as one loop (which is how I enjoyed it). It’s long, and the subject matter is most certainly upsetting. You have to be prepared to handle the historical weight of something as vicious as the Eastern Front. I can tell you that all too often the focus of my education regarding World War II has been the Western Front. It was a very different war and the outcome, while devastating for both sides, was perhaps more brutal.

This is the whole shebang. This is everything on a platter for your eyes direct from the previously sealed Russian vaults.

It’s a newer documentary from 2003, and it looks handsome in HD. The extra package has a new interview as well as a deleted interview. There’s also a look at Stalingrad today.

You can order Stalingrad from Synapse now:

From Synapse:
The Eastern Front experienced the viciousness of war on a scale of unimaginable horror and brutality. The bloodiest and most savage fighting took place in Stalingrad between August 1942 and February 1943. Stalin’s city on the Volga had military significance for Hitler, as it carried the name of his enemy and therefore had to be destroyed. The ensuing battle sealed the fates of hundreds of thousands of soldiers and civilians, marked the turning point of World War II, and was the beginning of the end for Nazi Germany.

This three-part HD documentary by award-winning documentary filmmakers Sebastian Dehnhardt, Christian Deick and Jorg Mullner presents both the German and Russian perspective, contains rare footage shot by soldiers during the siege, and reveals new historical facts with moving eyewitness accounts and confessions from some of Stalingrad’s last survivors. The Russian archives opened their doors to the filmmakers, granting exclusive access to a wealth of previously unreleased material.

Originally broadcast in both Germany and Russia in slightly truncated editions, this Blu-ray contains all three STALINGRAD documentaries including THE ATTACK (54 min.), THE KESSEL (56 min.) and THE DOOM (55 min.) in their original uncut, English dubbed versions.


       High-definition presentation of the original three-part 2003 mini-series
       English language dubbed version featuring footage not seen in the original broadcast
       Deleted interview segments
       Video interview with Dr. Guido Knopp (Professor and Historian)

       “Stalingrad Today” – Views of the City of Volgograd

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