It was a Soviet WW II movie, good enough to get international attention. Before that, it was a war novel.* And in 2015, a Russian media company made a four-episode mini-series.
I just finished watching the 2015 version. It's a sobering and emotionally engaging look at the Russian WW II experience; it is set in the northwest and the main character is a sergeant who had served in that area during the Winter War with Finland, been badly wounded, and ended up back in the middle of nowhere, at a minor rail junction with a couple of AA guns and a small group of soldiers.
Various complications follow -- and then a group of German army saboteurs are parachuted into the woods, presumably to damage the railroad or a more important canal not terribly far away. By chance, their presence is discovered. Communications are poor, manpower is scarce, and the sergeant and six of his soldiers have to stop what they think are two enemy soldiers. --But it's never that simple, is it?
The Dawns Are Quiet Here is a bit of a tear-jerker, and hardcore tactical types will likely find plenty of points to criticize in the actual battles; but it's an engrossing, well-told story. There's a little gratuitous female nudity, and the kind of violence you'd expect from a war movie: I don't think this one is for the kids. Adults may find it interesting. I did. In Russian, with subtitles -- and a good enough cast you won't notice you're reading.
* But not one you can easily find in English. It appears the only translation was published during Soviet rule; it's scarce, long out of print, and expensive when you find a copy.
3 months ago