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Russia's War, Blood Upon the Snow: The History of the Stalin Years (1924-1953)

72 customer reviews

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(Nov 24, 2009)
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$249.98 $99.96

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Editorial Reviews

“There has never been as vivid or terrifying an account of the Soviet people’s ordeal.” -Newsday

Russia’s War is an important and in-depth account of the nation’s history throughout the period of Joseph Stalin’s rule (1924-53). Told in ten parts, this astonishing documentary reveals eyewitness stories, archival photography, documents and footage, and gives a remarkable insight what led to the death of sixty-five million Soviets during Stalin’s reign of terror.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Nigel Hawthorne
  • Directors: Victor Lisakovitch, Ilia Gootman, Igor Grigoriev, Igor Gelaine, Tengiz Semenov
  • Producers: Judith De Paul, Alexander Surikov
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, Black & White, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: E1 Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: November 24, 2009
  • Run Time: 520 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,844 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Russia's War, Blood Upon the Snow: The History of the Stalin Years (1924-1953)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

89 of 92 people found the following review helpful By Carl Brennan on September 22, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I saw this series (10-parts) back in 2002 on History International. It is, without a doubt, the best series on World War II's "Front of Decision." Not only does it cover all of the major battles that punctuated this struggle, it delves into issues that are ignored in more cursory treatments. For example, the NKVD's "blocking forces" are discussed at some length--we're even treated to interviews with NKVD veterans who shot recalcitrant officers; it covers Germany's administration of the occupied territories and the privations visited upon the civilian population--the Holocaust among these "difficulties;" and we learn about the partisan war--not just fighting by pro-Soviet partisans, but Ukrainian and Polish freedom fighters--some of these conflicts persisted until 1947.

If you're interested in history and want an excellent treatment of humanity's most destructive undertaking (to date), I highly recommend this DVD.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By jeru on June 16, 2011
Format: DVD
this is an extraordinary, class aaa, best of the best documentary. i watched it twice in a seven day period during which i had worked four, 12 hour days. i was reminded of all the books and movies/documentaries i had ever been exposed to which focused on ww1, ww2, the cold war, vietnam war, nazi germany, the holocaust and other events of catastrophic human suffering and genocide.

it brought me to my knees emotionally to reconsider what dictatorial madness, human betrayal, miscalculation of the spirit of evil, and worldwide governmental blunders do cause: incalculable tragedy for innocent men, women and children. for me these incredible chapters were expertly crafted into a story i knew about, that is the stalin years, and will now not forget any and every day for the rest of my life.

i am now 60 years old. for all my life i have asked with all my heart and being one question over and over! "how could people be so cruel to others." i now, with this incredible and powerful documentary have a part of an answer. people choose to be cruel and others stand by and allow it to happen. they often join in; while others stand by and watch.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Pamela on June 30, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
If you like the World at War dvd's, you will enjoy this as well. OK, perhaps enjoy isn't the best word to use, as there is nothing enjoyable about the actions of Stalin against his own people. If you think that Hitler was the end all-be all of psychotic despots, this will be a real eye opener.

This series is laid out in similar format to the World at War, with each episode covering a specific subject, beginning from when Stalin first came to power until his death. Also, as with the World at War, if you blink you will miss something; the wealth of information and images are just riveting.

There is an incredible amount of real footage, and as far as I know, only one recreation in the entire series. There are also numerous interviews, including a brief appearance from Vasily Zaitsev. Not interviews with analysts, but with actual participants. Had this series not been produced, and these interviews recorded, so much would have been lost. They are not always pleasant to view, but they are candid. There is also some attention paid to the Russian women who fought in every capacity during WWII. Who would have ever thought that there would be a need for a team at the back of the troops to shoot people who turned and ran from battle???

I have already recommended this dvd to several friends and purchased one for my sister; I have watched the entire thing twice and I know that I still have not caught every image or absorbed everything that this dvd has to offer. It would be well worth it at twice the price.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Steven Daedalus on July 16, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
It's almost as difficult to judge historical periods from a distance as it is from a coeval perspective. It's now 2013. Stalin died in the early 50s. What do Russians think of him now, 50 years after his death. I asked a young chat friend from Ufa, Bashkortistan, Juliet Vladimorovna, who is a poet and teacher entirely divorced from politics (but not Russian history) what she thought of Stalin. "He was a jerk."

According to this series, Juliet was wrong. He wasn't a jerk at all. He knew exactly what he was doing and why -- except that almost every decision he made was ethically wrong.

Ditto for the Nazis. They "liberated" places like the Ukraine and were welcomed but they soon revealed their true nature by treating the inhabitants as slaves and executing all the Jews and other undesirables.

But the point of view here is not the Germans' but Stalin's. After the purges of the 1930s, which killed off most of his generals and, in fact, anyone who could be considered a rival for power, he went on killing others. They included Russian POWs who might have been tainted by fascist ideology. That included women and children who had been slave laborers under Hitler. Partisans with any popular appeal disappeared, although they had fought for the Motherland.

The generals who had won the war for him were afterwards sent to a symbolic Siberia, if they weren't executed. "Blocking units" of soldiers were ordered to shoot down penal battalions who refused to walk across mine fields and thus clear them.

It's an incredible story. Juliet was right in a moral sense. Few people could have been more of a "jerk." But, pragmatically, his personality was conflated with the winning of the Great Patriotic War. At his death, he was genuinely grieved.
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