4 Days in May

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4 Days in May
4 Days in May.jpg
4 Days in May poster
Directed by Achim von Borries
Produced by Stefan Arndt, Alexei Guskov
Screenplay by Achim von Borries, Eduard Reznik
Based on the work of Dmitry Faust
Starring Paul Wenzel, Alexei Guskov
Music by Thomas Finer
Release dates
  • August 9, 2011 (2011-08-09) (Locarno Film Festival)
Running time
97 min.
Country Germany, Ukraine, Russia
Language Russian, German
Budget 5.6 million USD

4 days in May is a war drama film directed by Achim von Borries. It is a German – Russian – Ukrainian co-production. The film was released on August 9, 2011 at the Locarno Film Festival.


It is one of the last days before the capitulation of the Nazi army. The setting is Pomerania, Baltic coast. A unit of the Soviet army, comprising seven people, and led by a captain nicknamed "Gorynych" (Slavic dragon) (Guskov) by his companions, has left for reconnaissance and observation of the movements of the retreating enemy. The group is housed in a large building, a shelter for orphaned girls. A Wehrmacht detachment was found close by, which was expecting transport for evacuation to Denmark. Both parties understand that the war is almost over; they do not want to engage each other and choose to wait things out. The resistance is not over for a teenage orphan Peter (Wenzel), who was educated in the tradition of National Socialism. Intelligence officers disarm him and patiently try to neutralize his youthful aggression.

On May 8, 1945 the major comes to the shelter. He is the immediate commander of the division, which includes reconnaissance. He was drunk on the occasion of Germany's capitulation. The major tries to rape one of the German girls, but the captain disarms him and stops the attempt. Wishing to eliminate witnesses of his indecent behavior, the major said that the enemy, in disguise, infiltrated the building, and began an assault on the shelter by his unit. The German unit did not surrender but came to rescue and protect the children. Together they made provisions for the safe withdrawal of the orphans on a fishing launch to Denmark.


Alexei Guskov, the producer and the lead actor, based the screenplay on a work by Dmitry Faust. The author, telling the story of Marshal of the Soviet Union, K. Moskalenko, described the reported case of Nazi troops coming to the aid of Soviet reconnaissance. Scouts prevented the drunken major - a tank officer - from raping a German girl, after they were defame and forced to fight against the same Soviet tank unit. The likelihood of the accuracy of the story is confirmed by its publication in the prestigious Russian historical illustrated magazine "Rodina". However, later in the same journal, "Rodina" there is an article by Candidate of Historical Sciences, Boris Sokolov, in which he calls into question the authenticity of the political report quoted in the story of Dmitry Faust. Later, other historians have argued that the story is fictional from beginning to end, unsupported by archival documents. In particular, the Russian historian - Alexei Isaev after conversations with Dmitry Faust, posted a frank explanation of the author's actual reason for this invention: As it turned out in a private conversation, he wrote about the "brotherhood of the weapon" on the island of Rügen in the Baltic Sea from mega-geopolitical considerations: the need to tolerate the Germans, to create the axis Berlin-Moscow-Pekin.

In addition, the work of Dmitry Faust cited some politic report, which states that the battle was waged, "137 Rifle 90 rd (rifle division) Tank Battalion." 137 Independent Tank Battalion of the 29th Guards. MAF (Mission Aviation Fellowship) May 23, 1944 was renamed the 2nd Tank Battalion of the 96th Guards Heavy Tank Regiment. In early 1945, 90 were assigned to rd (rifle division) 3 armored regiment of the 95th Separate Guards Tank Regiment, 93rd Separate Guards Tank Regiment, 46th Guards Tank Regiment separate breakout. This fact is not refuted by anyone. Perhaps any of tank battalions of the regiment remaining with a 90 rd or any other bodied TB (tank battalion) could get the name of the STB (separate tank battalion) and 137 in the report, for brevity, be called "137 TB 90 rd." This assumption can not be considered seriously - Soviet states have separate tank regiments had in their battalions, and consisted of the companies (such as staff number 010/507 for a single tank regiment), and therefore could not be separated from its membership any battalion.[citation needed]


  • Paul Wenzel as Peter
  • Alexei Guskov as Captain, commander of the reconnaissance
  • Ivan Shvedov as Trubitsin, scout
  • Andrew Merzlikin as Gray, the scout
  • Sergei Legostaev as Ivanov, a scout
  • Merab Ninidze as Major
  • Gerald Alexander Held as Colonel Wald
  • Martin Brambach as Lt. Wendt
  • Angelina Henchy as Anna
  • Petra Kelling as patroness of the shelter

Critical reception[edit]

Reviewer of the newspaper "Kommersant" Andrey Plakhov thinks that the film impress by its own story - the improbable story which took place in reality. Even if some German viewers expected to see a more negative description of the Soviet soldiers, they were disappointed. In this film we wasn't heard any dirty words, nobody of the German women were raped. But all this didn't look like a "fantasy" "4 days in May" was designed in the old Soviet cinema traditions but with the impossible plot (it rather able to interest Sergei Loznitsa), the film was a curious genre experiment. The film was also an excellent platform to Alexei Guskov who has demonstrated his acting charisma. Thanks to acting charisma of Alexei Guskov and the boy-actor (Paul Wenzel), the picture works even in the most risky situations, storylines, as evidenced by steel and grateful applause of the public entity against which faded somewhat skeptical smirks. A. Plakhov, "Kommersant" Dennis Ruzaev a critic of the weekly "Time Out " believes that the presence of Alexei Guskov in the film in two guises - the actor and producer - will inevitably affect the entire creative output: "What would von Borris tried to write the characters and build staging, nothing can be done - have to keep many close-ups of the Alexei Guskov " According to the observer "Izvestia" Larissa Yusipova, director made "a quiet, cultured" film, without slogans about rethinking the history, but with a clear humanistic promise.

On May 7, 2012 and withdrew from the NTV broadcast tapes showing "four days in May," explained his decision by saying that the intention to show the film has caused a very negative reaction from veterans' organizations and the audience - the party World War II.[1]


  • Special Jury Award: For courage and humanism, and the prize "Golden Boat" in the "Vyborg Account" film festival "Window to Europe"(Vyborg, 2011).


  1. ^ RIA Novosti, Alexey Eremenko (5 May 2012). "Russian TV Pulls Red Army Rape Film". Retrieved 4 June 2012. 

External links[edit]