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Shooting Stalingrad: Renowned Russian director recreates bloody battle (PHOTOS)

Published time: July 28, 2012 18:42
Edited time: July 29, 2012 00:27
A crew member of a new Russian film "Stalingrad" stands in a replica armoured vehicle on the set built near the village of Sapernoe outside St.Petersburg July 26, 2012. (Reuters/Alexander Demianchuk)

A crew member of a new Russian film "Stalingrad" stands in a replica armoured vehicle on the set built near the village of Sapernoe outside St.Petersburg July 26, 2012. (Reuters/Alexander Demianchuk)

Nine months of heavy fighting, up to two million dead, a city virtually wiped from the face of the Earth – the Battle of Stalingrad was one of the bloodiest in history. Now Russian moviemakers are reconstructing events of those days in a 3D movie.

­The work on Russia’s first 3D movie, the blockbuster war drama “Stalingrad”, named after the battle of WWII, is in full swing. It has been a month since cameras started rolling, and the first pictures are already appearing online.

The state-of-the-art technology will give viewers an opportunity to plunge into the thick of the action.

The war drama, directed by Russia’s Fyodor Bondarchuk, son of the Oscar-winning creator of War and Peace, depicts the battle between the Nazi invaders and the Soviet forces. It was one of the bloodiest battles in history, taking the lives of up to two million people.

But the movie is not only about the war. It tells the story of a Soviet family, its members and their lives during the battle.

The shooting is taking place near the city of St.Petersburg. The director chose the locations himself. Some scenes are being shot in the village of Saperny outside the city, while some take place at the “Red triangle” factory.

There are up to a thousand extras involved in the movie alongside Russian and international actors.

The popular German actor Thomas Kretschmann, the face of Hugo Boss who appeared in “King Kong”, “Apocalypse” and “The Pianist”, is also involved in the movie. He plays a German officer.

There have been rumors that Bondarchuk first invited Til Schweiger to play this role, but the actor allegedly refused, explaining that he does not want to sully his reputation by playing the role of a Nazi.

Appearing as part of the crowd has become a challenge for everyone at the scene, with the outside temperature reaching up to 35 degrees Celsius, but the action, according to the scenario, takes place in November. Actors, including children and old people, are wrapped up in quilted jackets, warm coats, hats and winter shoes.

From time to time some actors and crew members pass out because of the heat. Some have even been taken to hospital.

Details of the plot have not been made public yet. It is only known that the movie will be shown on widescreen in 2013.

People walk across the set of a new Russian film "Stalingrad" built near the village of Sapernoe outside St.Petersburg July 26, 2012. (Reuters/Alexander Demianchuk)
People walk across the set of a new Russian film "Stalingrad" built near the village of Sapernoe outside St.Petersburg July 26, 2012. (Reuters/Alexander Demianchuk)
A crew member of a new Russian film "Stalingrad" walks across the set built near the village of Sapernoe outside St.Petersburg July 26, 2012. (Reuters/Alexander Demianchuk)
A crew member of a new Russian film "Stalingrad" walks across the set built near the village of Sapernoe outside St.Petersburg July 26, 2012. (Reuters/Alexander Demianchuk)
Actors from a new Russian film "Stalingrad" wait on a set built near the village of Sapernoe outside St.Petersburg July 26, 2012. (Reuters/Alexander Demianchuk)
Actors from a new Russian film "Stalingrad" wait on a set built near the village of Sapernoe outside St.Petersburg July 26, 2012. (Reuters/Alexander Demianchuk)
Extras and crew from a new Russian film "Stalingrad" work on a set built near the village of Sapernoe outside St.Petersburg July 26, 2012. (Reuters/Alexander Demianchuk)
Extras and crew from a new Russian film "Stalingrad" work on a set built near the village of Sapernoe outside St.Petersburg July 26, 2012. (Reuters/Alexander Demianchuk)
A view of the set of a new Russian film "Stalingrad" built near the village of Sapernoe outside St.Petersburg July 26, 2012.  (Reuters/Alexander Demianchuk)
A view of the set of a new Russian film "Stalingrad" built near the village of Sapernoe outside St.Petersburg July 26, 2012. (Reuters/Alexander Demianchuk)