Film / White Tiger

White Tiger is a Russian film set in World War II. A white Tiger tank keeps on showing up, wreaking havoc on Soviet tanks and then disappearing. Elite tank driver Naydenov is given a tank, a crew, and the task of finding and destroying the White Tiger, which may or may not be a supernatural force.

Tropes appearing in this film:

  • Ambiguous Ending: The final scene is of Adolf Hitler giving a monologue about human nature to an unknown, shadowed figure in a chair beside a large fireplace. Guesses of who the figure is range from Martin Heidigger to Satan.
    • The last we see of Naydenov is him telling Fedotov that even though WWII is over, the White Tiger is not destroyed and could return any time. He then gets back into the T-34 he was working on.
  • Amnesiac Hero: Naydenov remembers nothing from before his recovery in hospital, except how to make a tank go.
  • Arch-Enemy: The White Tiger to Naydenov.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Naydenov. He says that tanks talk to him (and to everyone else, but only he can hear them) and calmly gives two officers a long, detailed description of the "tank god" up in the sky who has a golden T-34. Many characters say he's insane.
  • Daylight Horror: The weather is beautiful and sunny for the whole film.
  • The Film of the Book: Based on the novel Tankist, ili belyy tigr by Ilya Boyashov.
  • No One Should Survive That: At the start of the film, Naydenov is taken to a field hospital with 90% burns, and is nearly triaged straight into the graveyard. He makes a full recovery, and is not even scarred. The doctors are mystified.
  • Never Found the Body: At one point the White Tiger is declared destroyed after it retreated into a swamp, where it surely must have sunk.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: It's strongly hinted but never confirmed that the White Tiger is a supernatural being.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Ivan Ivanych Naydenov. Naydenov means "found." He was found in a tank, and taken to hospital.
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: By Richard Wagner, which is especially fitting considering he popularized the Flying Dutchman legend and Hitler was famously a fan of his work.
  • Moby Schtick: Naydenov becomes obsessed with destroying the white tank that burned him and killed his crew.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Major Fedotov believes and pays attention to what Naydenov says.
  • Romanticism Versus Enlightenment: two officers discuss whether Naydenov's special powers are supernatural, or an evolutionary response to extreme conditions. Events towards the end of the film favour the first explanation.
  • Shown Their Work: A T-34/85 going over uneven terrain accidentally hits the ground with the cannon, damaging the gun. Due to the length of the 85mm gun barrel, this was a real-life problem for tankers.
  • Tanks, but No Tanks: Averted with the T-34/85s, played straight with the white Tiger. Originally it was planned to build a replica Tiger for the film, but when the prop was not finished in time, a redressed IS-2 was used instead. In fact, if you look at the movie poster for this page, it is a blatant IS-2 with no make-up or redress whatsoever.
  • Technopath: Naydenov says active tanks tell him how to dodge shells, and wrecked tanks tell him how they met their ends.
  • Vodka Drunkenski: Elite loader Berdyev's special ability is that alcohol doesn't impair him from doing his job well.