Prepare yourself for graphic scenes of war. This documentary brings to the viewer what fiction films, no matter how good they are, cannot. Realism en masse. It is a film like this that should be the biggest anti-war statement ever crafted.
When this documentary, which was originally aired on television, came out because of its brutal nature it was classified as a horror film. For this reason many dismissed it. That is a huge mistake as few other World War II films make clear the horror that went on.
Stalingrad was the site of one of the most brutal battles of World War II. It was also an important turning point in the War. Many survivors give their own accounts of what happened and what they lived through. The survivors are both German and Russian. Some were soldiers while others were civilians. Many of the soldiers break down during their testimonies and exhibit signs of post-traumatic stress due to the horrors they lived through. What they do succeed in doing is giving a clear picture of the horror of war. There is not glory of war to bwe found here. Their accounts of what they saw, lived through and had to do are at times horrifying while others symbols of human perseverance. All of it is moving.
The three part documentary does not set up the Germans as evil or the Russians as heroes. It really is about the people involved and not what side they were on. It is divided into three parts: the prelude, the surrender and the aftermath.