Blockade (2007)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

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 - Blockade opens with footage of German prisoners being marched down a central city street and refuses to flinch as the city gradually loses power and the fighting draws ever closer. As strife sweeps through the streets and citizens resort to increasingly desperate measures simply to survive, the lack of narration allows the viewer to for their own, unbiased opinion of the event and its repercussions.
Art House & International , Documentary , Special Interest
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Critic Reviews for Blockade

All Critics (7) | Top Critics (5)

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.

Full Review… | May 13, 2009
Time Out
Top Critic

The film makes you squirm as well as empathize.

Full Review… | March 16, 2007
New York Daily News
Top Critic

The surreal images lack narration and talking heads, which is no problem. In fact, the device makes the shocking footage more compelling.

Full Review… | March 16, 2007
New York Post
Top Critic

The documentaries Blockade and Amateur Photographer offer a devastating look at World War II-era atrocities.

Full Review… | March 14, 2007
New York Times
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | March 13, 2007
Village Voice
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | March 21, 2007
Film Journal International

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