Battle for Sevastopol (Битва за Севастополь in Russian; Незламна (The Enduring) in Ukrainian) is based on true events. It tells the story of Soviet Ukrainian Lyudmila Pavlichenko, a university student who was drafted into the Red Army after the German invasion of the USSR during World War II. As a member of the 25th Rifle Division, she became an incredibly successful sniper but was wounded in the Battle of Sevastopol’ (in Crimea). She was sent to the United States to push for American support for the war effort, where she befriended and worked with First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt.
According to the film’s director, Sergei Mokritskiy, the film is meant to be a psychological depiction of the fate and experiences of women at war. Beyond the battle scenes, the film attempts to look into the experiences and feelings of the main characters and includes a love story. (While the script mainly relied on true details of Pavlichenko’s life, she was in fact already married and had a child before she joined the army.)
The film is notable for being a joint production of Ukraine and Russia. Filming started before the Euromaidan movement; but despite political tensions between the two countries, especially after Russia’s annexation of Crimea, the film was finished. It was released on April 2, 2015, in both countries and in both Russian and Ukrainian. It received positive critical reviews and, among other awards, was nominated for eight Golden Eagles, Russia’s preeminent film award. Yuliya Peresil’d won the award for best female actress; Yuriy Korol’ won for best cinematography.
Director: Sergei Mokritskiy
Stars: Yuliya Peresil’d, Evgeniy Tsyganov, Oleg Vasil’kov, Nikita Tarasov, Joan Blackham
Producing companies: Kinorob and Novye Lyudi
Box office take in Russia: $8.7 million
Box office take in Ukraine: ~$500,000
The official Russian trailer:
The official Ukrainian trailer: