A scene from Kim Druzhinin and Andrey Shalopa's "The Panfilov 28."
Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures International, 2016
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In a controversial new Russian film, 28 Soviet soldiers facing sure death singlehandedly defend the front line outside Moscow against an onslaught of Nazi tanks in 1941 .A respected historian says the derring-do depicted in the film, which received generous state funding and is playing in more than 1,000 theaters across the country, was in fact concocted by Soviet propagandists.The film recounts the story of the outgunned and outmanned Panfilov rifle division, which was defending Moscow's western front.The head of Russia's State Archive, historian Sergei Mironenko, was one of the people who spoke out as the film was being shot last year.There was indeed fighting and more than 100 died, but the story of the 28 comes only from an army newspaper article, Mironenko told Kommersant daily.Putin, who created a commission tasked with preventing the "distortion of Russian history" and was one of the first to view the film, has condemned what he calls the "falsification of history" by those challenging it.
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