I’d love to write more, but I am not feeling so good. I can’t recommend this film enough. There are several things in this film, but the center piece that makes the film worth watching is the barn sequence. The Nazi’s roll into town, round up the people, put them all in a barn, and then set the barn ablaze. This simple act is drawn out for the bulk of the picture so that the true magnitude of this atrocity can be taken in. By taking up director Elem Klimov on his invitation to come and see we see the atrocities the German’s committed on Russian side of WWII.
This film along with Shoah (1985) are absolutely essential to understanding the horrors committed by the Germans. See this film.