Blokada (Blockade) (2005)
Average Rating: 7.2/10
Reviews Counted: 7
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Average Rating: 7.5/10
Critic Reviews: 5
Fresh: 5 | Rotten: 0
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Filmmaker Sergei Loznitsa draws on three-and-a-half hours of silent footage acquired from the St. Petersburg Studio of Documentary Films to detail the siege of Leningrad for this avant-garde documentary devoid of narration and featuring only the natural sounds of the streets. Over the course of the 900 days that the siege took place, over half-a-million citizens died - primarily due to starvation. The recipient of the White Elephant film award - an honor bestowed upon films by Russian critics -
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Blockade doesn't barrage you with battle scenes; instead, we get eerie moments of calm as people walk down snowy streets littered with corpses and tanks roll off into the distance.
The surreal images lack narration and talking heads, which is no problem. In fact, the device makes the shocking footage more compelling.
The documentaries Blockade and Amateur Photographer offer a devastating look at World War II-era atrocities.
What narrative there is, along with a sense of incrementally mounting horror, emerges unbidden from the images-teeming streets that gradually thin, bundled proles panning for filthy water in potholes, stick-thin pedestrians stepping matter-of-factly past.
Blockade...will certainly work as the intended visual poetry for many, but these many had best bring to the film significant knowledge of this World War II battle.
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