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First Squad Moment of Truth

October 10, 2009

First Squad Moment of Truth Review

Well, how to put it softly… it was difficult. It was difficult to keep watching this film and resist temptation to save myself from influx of cliches, but I decided to finish it. Let’s see what went wrong.

Shinbo can turn a string of seemingly unrelated shots into a sublime experience. Here the purpose is somewhat different. The creators are trying to make their story sound more real by including numerous interviews with various people. It looks very funny and distracts from the viewing experience. It you really want to make viewers think and feel, show - don’t tell. The problems with continuity don’t end here though.

Flashbacks are fine, but too many events happen too quickly and spectators are not given enough time to really care about protagonists and other characters. This is exacerbated further by horrible Russian voice acting that is much worse than its Soviet counterparts.

The only thing I liked about the film is excellent use of color.

I somewhat expected this to be a gimmick, but I didn’t expect such a failure… Perhaps, the sequels will be better, but I doubt it. At least, I hope this film will raise awareness and interest in history of heroic actions of young people during WWII.

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6 comments

  1. Oh I heard about this film, something about russian documentary right?

    Sucks to hear that it wasn’t as good as I first thought it’d be, having recently watched an excellent animated documentary waltz with bashir, i was hoping this one could prove excellent as well :/

    O well, I might give it a try anyway.


    • Umm… It is far from a documentary :P Well, it contains many interruptions with brief commentary by veterans, historians, psychiatrists, etc., so, in a sense, that part is a “documentary”, but, with a couple exceptions, such commentary sounds very funny and too scripted. Someone mentioned that those clips will be excluded in another version of the film though.

      I recall watching some interviews where creators were saying that they didn’t intend to make it a serious film – they were just “getting a kick out of it” and having fun. Unfortunately, I didn’t bookmark the videos and they seem to have conveniently disappeared from youtube.

      I would love to see an animated documentary about WWII, but this anime is definitely not it. I suggest Tale of Tales that also deals with many other themes.


  2. But I kinda like the vehicle, the blood, the weapon sound, and the effect of the explosion.


    • Yes, special effects were interesting.


  3. I felt exactly oppossite from your review. I liked the documentary clips between scenes, (most were somewhat related). it kinds sets up the mood from my pov. I think what they were trying to dp was to get viewers into its depressing state, feel what they felt, and even if its one step closer, they’ve accomplsihed it. And whats better way to translate those emotions then real ww2 veterans talking about their horrifiying experiences.. They could’ve added real battle scenes, but that wouldn’t make much sense. I liked the Russian audio as well. But its just how I felt.


    • Thanks for sharing your perspective :)



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