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Rating: PG
Year Made: 2000








Languages: English/Russian/Norwegian
Subtitles: English
Aspect Ratio: 4x3 Letterbox
Sound: Dolby Digital 2.0
Running Time: 1 hr 15 mins
Region Code: 3
Distributor: Comstar Entertainment




In August 2000, during a military exercise, the invincible Russian nuclear submarine Kursk sank with its 118 crew members in the Barents Sea. The tragedy has never been completely elucidated. This astonishing documentary takes a look at the sinking of the Kursk, an accident that was attributed to an accidental explosion caused by a faulty torpedo. Immediately after the accident, Russian naval officers attributed the sinking to a torpedo strike from a U.S. Navy sub. This film throws new light on the affair, disclosing facts until now carefully concealed. The basis of the film is that the admirals were right all along: American subs were shadowing the Kursk during its Barents Sea exercises; they first rammed and then torpedoed it. It also observes President Putin's calculated and sensational seizure of power.


If there is one thing documentaries do best, they save us the trouble of reading textbooks and newspapers. Heck, the visual information may even make us the highlight of conversations at parties and social gatherings.

To be frank, we had not much knowledge about the Russian submarine Kursk which sunk during a military exercise in August 2000 and resulted in the tragic deaths of its 118 crew members on board. This 75-minute documentary sheds light on what happened on that faithful day, and the aftermath of this unfortunate incident.

The award-winning French documentary directed by Jean-Michel Carre and narrated by American actor Peter Coyote tracks down how Kursk was launched for the exercise to its sinking, and the political implications that follow. With the aid of archive footage and graphic re-enactments, viewers will be guided clearly along what exactly happened, to the eventual conspiracy theory the documentary proposes.

Like most documentaries, this one will lead you to take in the information as they are presented to you, especially with Coyote’s firm and weighty voiceover narration.

The documentary will first have you believe that the Russians (yes, they were a communist country during its USSR days before 1991) have attributed the accident to a torpedo strike from an American Navy sub, in all efforts to cover up for their own negligence and ineptness. Then, with further evidence and interview footages, the documentary throws another light on this incident, coming to a conclusion that the Americans were really up to no good with their Navy Sub.

To make the documentary even more important and shocking, scenes of Russian president Vladmir Putin and ex-president Bill Clinton are shown before your eyes, and will have you believe that the world was almost on the brink of a terrible World War III, which was prevented just in time.

If you have some previous knowledge about the Kursk incident, this documentary will engage you. Facts and evidence are presented in an organized manner, with a looming sense of danger and menace throughout.

For the more cynical, resourceful and inquisitive viewers, this may make you want to find out more about the incident and make a stand for yourself. Of course, this would be the ideal situation as we should all know better than to absorb everything that is given to us by this medium called the mass media.
For the others who are not fans of this genre, it may be a tad difficult to follow the presentation, despite its short run time. But if you are willing to put some effort into following the pace of the documentary, it may make you a more knowledgeable person, if not a more intellectual-sounding conversation-starter at parties and social gatherings.


The documentary is presented in English Dolby Digital 2.0 and 4 x 3 Letterbox format. While the audio aspects of the disc is fine, we cannot say so much about the visual transfer as it is not exactly crystal clear as you’d expect it to be.


No extra features are included in this Code 3 DVD.



Review by John Li



Other titles from Comstar:

. Beyond The Sea

. Voice

. The Last Communist

. Jasmine Women

. Running Wild

. You are my Sunshine

. My Girl & I

. Half Light

. Mur (The Wall)

. Mrs Henderson Presents

. Hidden

. The Descent

. Sympathy for Lady Vengeance

. A Season for Love

. Horror Theater Series 2

. Horror Theater Series I

. Capturing the Friedmans

. The Wig

. A Wicked Tale

. As It Is In Heaven

. When I Turned 9



This review is made possible with the kind support from Comstar


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