Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Tali-Ihantala 1944

FI (c) 2007 Åke Lindman Film-Production. D: Åke Lindman, Sakari Kirjavainen. SC: Stefan Forss, Benedict Zilliacus, Esko Salervo. DP: Pauli Sipiläinen. A large cast, no protagonists. Digital intermediate look with bleakened colour. In Finnish, partly Swedish, a sequence in German, with Swedish or Finnish subtitles by Joanna Erkkilä. Released by Buena Vista International. Viewed in Cinema Bristol, Helsinki, 1 Jan 2008. The Tali-Ihantala battle of 25 June - 9 July, 1944 was the biggest in the history of the Nordic countries. There were 50.000 troops on the Finnish side (Finns and Germans) against 150.000 troops of the Red Army on the Karelian Isthmus. The Finns stroke back in Tali-Ihantala (and Vuosalmi and Viipurinlahti) with such a force that the Red Army interrupted its massive attack against Finland. These battles saved Finland from sharing the fate of the Baltic countries after WWII. This Finnish Thermopylai story is great, but unfortunately the film is just a collection of small episodes. It fails to build momentum.

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