ridiculous and profound
ridiculous in the last ten minutes especially, for directly saying that the US Marines (who fought and died defeating fascism) are the same as the Nazis.
in a sense, all militaries 'dehumanize' the soldier, then again, why not go after Stalin's military?
which brings me to the other ridiculousness. No mention is made of what the Soviets did in Poland, how they carved it up in alliance with Hitler in 1939, how they murdered hundreds of thousands of Poles, including the Katyn massacre, which was censored by the Soviet state and the Polish secret police until the 90s and 2000s.
or of what Stalin did in so many other places. like the Ukraine.
on the other hand, it is a brilliant indictment of the stupidity of militarism, fascism, and state violence, and a beautiful homage to the innate morality that can be found in the ordinary person. the juxtaposition between people like Hitler and children playing innocent games in the street is unforgettable.
i found myself wondering how the Soviet censors let it through. the Soviet citizens watching this must have been asking themselves "yes of course, but Stalin had parades with his picture everywhere, and my grandparents died in the Gulag, just as German communists died in concentration camps. and Stalin glorified militarism and violence like Hitler did."
the "read between the lines" points the director is making almost slap you in the face. perhaps the last ten minutes of the film are simply to satisfy the Communist party censors... or perhaps not. who knows?