Bastards (Russian: Сволочи, Svolochi) is a 2006 action-adventure film. A Russian project directed by Aleksandr Atanesyan, its story-line centers around a group of teenage convicts that the Soviet Union, facing desperate straits during World War II, trains for an important guerrilla mission. The young men face difficult challenges both in getting ready and also when finally heading into the treacherous mountains in which the German facility that they must destroy awaits. For all of their status as nobodies, the Russian military is counting on them.
Actors in the film include Dmitriy Gorevoy, son of prominent Russian character actor Mikhail Gorevoy. In comparison to other Russian films, Bastards attracted some international attention for its subject material and the controversy about its alleged historical accuracy. The movie additionally won both 'Best Film' and 'Best Action Sequence' during the MTV Russian Movie Awards in 2007 as well.
This film provides examples of:
- Artistic License History: Critics and regular viewers alike have condemned the film's depiction of Soviet teenagers, below the age of being able to be legal combatants, getting enlisted in the war. In fact, the misuse of young people in the war is prominently associated with Nazi Germany, the Soviet regime's nemesis, such as with the infamous Hitler Youth. Its advertising campaign claimed it was based on real, historical accounts, but after criticism the director and screenwriter confessed that the plot was mere fiction.
- Boxed Crook: The aforementioned bastards are depicted as criminal non-entities that nobody would miss.
- The Power of Friendship: Given the tougher than tough circumstances, this is essentially the only thing keeping the protagonists going.
- Real Is Brown: Like many war films, the movie uses muted blue and brown colors often.
- Training from Hell: What the teenagers go through is brutal.
- War Is Hell: The movie's depiction of this part of World War II is dark and depressive.