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Enemy at the Gates

            The film Enemy at the Gates tells the true story of the trials of Vassili Zaitsev, a Russian sniper, at the Battle of Stalingrad. The story focuses on the German attempt to kill Vassili, played by Jude Law, by pitting their own legendary sniper against him, Major KÖnig, played by Ed Harris. The movie ends with Vassili killing Major KÖnig during a huge bombardment on Stalingrad from the Germans. If the film is trying to convey a message, I think that it would have been to never give up, no matter the odds. Vassili was facing an older, much more experienced sniper in Major KÖnig, but even when all seemed lost, Vassili would find a way to escape and eventually get revenge and kill Major KÖnig. .
             As far as I can tell, the story is authentic and is told in a very believable manner. The movie depicted both the Russian and German soldiers quite realistically. The Russians were depicted as not caring about individuals, only winning the war despite the costs. This is best shown towards the beginning of the movie when the Russian officers shoot any Russian soldier who runs away from battle or retreats. The Germans are shown as manipulative and superior both technologically and militarily. Both of these traits are shown by the use of propaganda to make the Russians think they have already lost and the bribery used by Major KÖnig to find the whereabouts of Vassili. .
             This film showed me the importance of the Battle of Stalingrad and exactly how the Red Army worked. Before this film, I could not have imagined the brutality used by the Communists on their own soldiers. This film also illustrates the importance of propaganda during a war. Keeping spirits high is vital to success, shown by the use of heroic stories of Vassili to keep soldiers fighting when all seemed lost. .

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