WWII tale about the German invasion of Russia. In 1942, the exhausted Soviet army is retreating towards Stalingrad whilst trying desperately to hold ground in the face of the mighty German war machine. Stalin has failed to heed all signs and warnings that Hitler would have the audacity to invade his great nation and now his bluff has been well and truly called. The film follows one small, tired and depleted unit in that retreat, as they struggle to imagine what comes next for them and Russia, secretly knowing that it can only be carnage of the worst sort. Mixing powerfully shot battle scenes alongside with pastoral scenes in small towns in summer as they pass though, director Sergei Bondarchuk paints an even-handed and humane portrait of the battle from the Russian side.