, 93min, russOmeU
Unter den Filmen dieser Retrospektive finden sich naturgemäß nur wenige, die während des Krieges entstanden. Alle drei sind sowjetische Produktionen, denn einzig die UdSSR war mächtig genug, Krieg zu führen, Partisanen zu unterstützen und zugleich ihre Filmproduktion fortzusetzen. RADUGA schildert die brutalen Ereignisse in einem ukrainischen Dorf, dessen widerständiger Geist nicht gebrochen werden kann. Die Besatzer erniedrigen, töten, foltern und erschießen die Zivilisten, aber die sowjetischen Herzen und Gedanken bleiben rot. Die ehemalige Partisanin Olga ist schwanger in das Dorf zurückgekehrt, nur um hier das ultimative Opfer zu bringen.
Among the many films of this retrospective, a very special place belongs to the few works produced not after the Second World War, but in the very thick of it. It should be no surprise that all three are Soviet productions. The Soviet Union was the only Nazi-occupied territory (albeit only partially) that was mighty enough to wage both an official war and support partisan warfare, while keeping its massive film production alive and kicking at the same time. Mark Donskoy was already an established, Stalin Award-winning artist when he created his inspirational masterpiece RADUGA, a depiction of life in a Nazi-occupied Ukrainian village that refuses to have its spirit crushed. The cruel Germans try everything to this end: they humiliate, starve, hang, torture, and shoot the civilians, but Soviet hearts and minds remain red. Amidst this sea of collective suffering, the figure of a former partisan named Olga rises. She has returned to the village to bear a child, only to endure the ultimate sacrifice. Soviet authorities used RADUGA not only to boost the domestic morale, they also instantly exported the film as a reminder of Soviet suffering. American president Franklin Roosevelt was allegedly so moved by RADUGA that he wrote Donskoy a personal letter. Different sources cite different words of American admiration; in the best version, FDR declares the following: “Soviets are fighting not only for Russian mothers and children, but also for American mothers and children.”