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Based on real-life events, 9th COMPANY recounts a year in the shared lives of a group of young soldiers drafted to serve in Afghanistan during the final year of the Soviet conflict. It is a poignant story of the unit s dedication to each other during their valiant defense of Height 3234...a futile battle that ravaged their forgotten company, who fought on, unaware that the war had ended.
Reminiscent of Apocalypse Now, Full Metal Jacket and The Big Red One, 9th COMPANY is credited as being the first real post-Soviet era war film.
The highest grossing film in Russia in 2005 at $27 million, 9th COMPANY also won a NIKA Award for Best Film and marks the feature directorial debut of Fyodor Bondarchuk, son of renowned director Sergei Bondarchuk War and Peace, 1968.
Bonus Features Include
Making of the Movie
20 Years Later
9th COMPANY, Russia s domestic top-grosser of 2005, has been touted as the first major film to attempt to do for their Afghan war what Platoon and other pics did for Vietnam. --Variety
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If you are a fan of Russian weaponry, this is your movie. It's filled with AK-47s, AK-74s, RPKs, PKMs, the list goes on. There is plenty of military action involving an attack by "The Muj" as they are called in the movie. There are other violent military encounters as well that are pretty well acted and realistically portrayed. Some scenes are quite realistic while others seem an attempt to make an excuse for the Soviet loss by showing the Mujahadin as "ghosts" who can disappear into the landscape while standig 20 yards from the Russians. Having been deployed to Afghanistan, I found the locations portrayed interesting also. The locations used in filming are convincing as Afghanistan.
You need to be warned about something here though...this is not a movie you can watch with a child!!!
There is a scene with and much discussion about a character named "Snow White" who is an attractive 20-something young woman known by the soldiers for "servicing" recruits that come through this boot camp. They gather with her and take turns being "serviced". The actress is nude and even the parts of the scene that don't show her completely nude are too suggestive for young eyes. During the end of this scene, she is shown completely nude and the soldiers are bowing to her in their own sort of mock worship. Frankly, I found the bits involving her and discussion of her to be degrading and they made me uncomfortable. But, honestly, that emotion was an American one. It was interesting to me to wonder what the Russian mind would be thinking at that point in the movie.
All things considered, this is a movie well worth the money. I value it for entertainment and education. I recommend watching this movie in Russian with subtitles.
Now for the "realistic" portrayal of the "9th Company" which in fact was a real company that did fight in Afghanistan. It shows an accurate portrayal of Soviet military training during that time, most of this film is on spot in terms of historical accuracy, EXCEPT. The most glaring falsified part of this film is the final battle on the hill, which did take place in real life. But the extent to which this movie portrays it is vastly over-exaggerated. 9th Company did take some casualties, but it was never like how this movie makes it seem... Otherwise I would have given this movie a rating of 5 stars, but I'm pretty big on historical accuracy. Even with the crummy voice overs which I can deal with, but misrepresentation of historical facts is something I dislike. So all in all, 4 out of 5 from me.
I tried to listen to the English version on the bluray and gave up after about 10 minutes. The English voice actors sound like they are sitting in a pub, reading each line between swigs of beer without any emphasis or inflection that would indicate that they are even aware of the context of that line in the movie. Only slightly better than the dubbing for Bruce Lee's movies, where a single voice actor played all characters.
Fortunately, you can listen to the Russian track and turn on the subtitles.
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