June 22, 1941, 3 a.m.: Adolf Hitler breaks the German-Soviet non-aggression pact signed three years earlier. Nazi Germany invades the Soviet Union. Operation code name: Barbarossa. WWII's largest offensive had just begun.
Between June and December 1941, ten million soldiers will face each other in battles of monstrous proportions... In 200 days, 5 million men, women and children will die. Why did this war lead to such horror? How could the Soviet Union resist such an assault?
Blending official and personal archives, animation, and alongside historians (Jean Lopez, author of Barbarossa, the Absolute War, Americans Isabel V. Hull and Timothy Snyder, German Christian Hartmann...) this film will tell this great historical fresco focusing on six characters from both German and Russian sides. Beyond shedding new light on a major episode of the Second World War, it is the confrontation of two totalitarian regimes, two great powers, and one of the bloodiest conflict in the history that is replayed before our eyes.
Direction: Thomas Sipp
Production: Les Films d’Ici for ARTE
Delivery: June 2023
Photo credit: Bundesarchiv, Bild 101I-185-0139-20 / Grimm, Arthur / CC-BY-SA 3.0, CC BY-SA 3.0 DE