Controversial War-Themed Film “Lovely Hans, Dear Peter” Wins in Russia’s NIKA

Controversial war-themed film Milyy Khans, dorogoi Pyotr (Lovely Hans, Dear Peter) was awarded Best Film of the Year by Russia’s NIKA awards Friday, April 2.

Milyy Khans, dorogoi Pyotr (Lovely Hans, Dear Peter), written and directed by Russian director Alexander Mindadze received Russian officials’ severe criticisms after it exposed close links between Hitler’s Nazi Germany and Stalin’s USSR on the eve of the Second World War.

Aside from bagging the Best Film title, Milyy Khans, dorogoi Pyotr (Lovely Hans, Dear Peter) was also awarded Best Screenplay. Earlier this year, the controversial film bagged this same honor in the Golden Eagles, the rival national movie-honoring ceremony of NIKA.

Milyy Khans, dorogoi Pyotr (Lovely Hans, Dear Peter) centers on two characters, Hans and Peter, with the story revolving around German engineers working in a Soviet military lens factory. Through this premise, Mindadze retells the story of  when Stalin cooperated with the German Fuehrer before the Nazis invaded Russia on June of 1941.

Milyy Khans, dorogoi Pyotr (Lovely Hans, Dear Peter) premiered last year at the Moscow Film Festival to the heavy censure of the country’s conservative Minister of Culture, Vladimir Medinsky. Accordingly, he suggested that there were no such collaborations between the two rival leaders during the Second World War.

The movie is from a historical point of view very accurate. There was a great deal of cooperation between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union despite their many differences and their stated dislike of each other. In fact, both countries needed it each and these were isolated by the western powers, to an extent. Stalin and Hitler entered into a marriage of convenience.

The shared technical know-how in particular. However, Hitler was always planning to attack the Soviet Union and Stalin to an extent deceived by the Germans and believed that because there was a level of cooperation that Hitler could be trusted.

Many Russian who hero-worship Stalin do not like to acknowledge this as it shows him in a bad light. It also contradicts the official version of the war. This is what makes the movie so controversial for some in Russia.  Many of the Putin government and his supporters want to portray Stalin in a positive light and do not want any criticism of him and his achievements.

The film because of its subject matter cast doubt on Stalin as an all-seeing leader but rather as someone who dealt with the Nazis and was taken in by Hitler.

Heziel Pitogo

Heziel Pitogo is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE