Here’s a piece of WWII history that I wasn’t really aware of as a new and epic Russian film is set to hit U.S. theaters next month after a successful run in its native land. Titled Saving Leningrad, the movie hails from director Aleksey Kozlov and it tells the heroic story of ordinary men and women who were forced to endure an extraordinary and dangerous trek for survival in the unforgiving seas. Check out the official press release below!

SAVING LENINGRAD (Russia), a new epic action drama directed by Aleksey Kozlov and produced by Arkady Fateev, will be released in North America in December 2019. The film is Russia’s official selection for the Golden Globe Awards 2020 and will have a Premiere  US screening for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association in the coming weeks. 

SAVING LENINGRAD is based on a true story, and critics are saying it’s “a mixture between Dunkirk and Saving Private Ryan“. Already released by Universal Pictures International in CIS, this film has been one of the biggest box office hits at the Russian box office in 2019.

Synopsis: September, 1941. In an exciting and dangerous turn of events, young lovebirds Kostya and Nastya find themselves on board a barge that is evacuating people from the under sieged city of Leningrad. As they depart the barge, they encounter a ferocious storm. As the barge starts to sink, planes begin to arrive at the scene but tragically these planes are not there to rescue them. In fact, it’s quite the opposite..

ABOUT REAL EVENTS:

The barge sent an SOS signal but the German planes were first to arrive at the scene instead of the rescue. The barge broke into several pieces after the attack and the line connecting the barge with the tow boat broke as well but “The Eagle” team risked their lives while saving people drowning in the icy water: the tow boat team picked up 216 people during 5 hours of the toughest rescue operation. But around 1200 people died in the depths of Ladoga. 

On September 19, 1941 the Naval forces issued an order that forbade the transporting of people on board of barges along Ladoga. The death of Barge 752 was put in the secret archives. It was only in 2004 when the files about this tragedy were published.

Producer Arkady Fateev spoke of the film and what it offers to audiences worldwide:

“This project is very important and personal to me because of my grandfathers who fought in World War 2 and participated in battles which led to saving the great city of Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg) in 1944. 

Our film was released in Russia and CIS on January 27th, 2019 – on the 75th anniversary of the end of the Leningrad blockade. But this film is not only about war but also about love and hope!”

Saving Leningrad stars Andrey Mironov-Udalov, Maria Melnikova, Anastasia Melnikova, Gela Meskhi, Valeriy Degtyar, Sergey Zharkov, Ivan Lyrchikov, Vladimir Seleznyov, Mikhail Morozov, and Inga Oboldina.

The history of the events in Leningrad are well known but this story was buried for over 70 years and the world will now know the courage of these people when they were placed in the most unforgiving of circumstances.

Check out the official trailer below!