Leningrad: a story of survival, humanity, friendship and trust

By Magdalena Ulejczyk

    Warsaw (CentEast Daily News) -- "A film could be manipulation: you decide. In one episode you want the audiences to face a mystery and get involved in solving it; in the next you let them relax a bit, smile and laugh. Then in the third, you thrill them or scare them. It's entertainment. I love it," said Russian director Aleksandr Buravsky, whose World War II epic Leningrad is screening in the Warsaw International Film Festival and in the CentEast Market.

    Starring Gabriel Burne and Mira Sorvino, the KoBura Film production feature follows a young British journalist, Kate Davis, during the German blockade of Leningrad during the autumn of 1941. Davis' friend and lover is a US Pulitzer Prize winning colleague, Philip Parker, who admires his younger, ambitious colleague.

    "I don't understand why everybody claims this is another powerful love story amidst one of the most intense battles during World War II," Buravsky said. "In my opinion the film is about survival, humanity, friendship and trust between people who don't know each other."

    The director said that approach makes Leningrad something other than a tender epic like Pearl Harbor. "The blockade was a tragedy of such dimensions that it put people on the ultimate test. I only tried to explore it, without knowing where it would finally take me," he said.