• (L - R) 'Sobibor', 'Churchill', 'Atonement' and 'Beanpole'. (SBS)Source: SBS
For four weeks, SBS World Movies presents an outstanding collection of war films, plus more are streaming at SBS On Demand.
By
SBS Movies

26 Nov 2020 - 6:06 PM  UPDATED 3 Dec 2020 - 5:34 PM

MONDAY 16 NOVEMBER

The 12th Man
9:30pm

MA
Norway, 2017
Genre: Drama, War
Language: Northern Sami, English, German
Director: Harald Zwart
Starring: Thomas Gullestad, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Marie Blokhus
What's it about?
After a failed anti-Nazi sabotage mission leaves his eleven comrades dead, a Norwegian resistance fighter finds himself fleeing the Gestapo through the snowbound reaches of Scandinavia.

'The 12th Man': Intense Tale of Survival in Nazi-occupied Norway

TUESDAY 17 NOVEMBER

Sobibor
9:40pm

MA15+
Russia, 2018
Genre: Drama, War
Language: Yiddish, German, Polish, Russian
Director: Konstantin Khabenskiy
Starring: Konstantin Khabenskiy, Christopher Lambert, Michalina Olszańska, Felice Jankell, Mariya Kozhevnikova, Dainius Kazlauskas, Philippe Reinhardt, Maximilian Dirr, Mindaugas Papinigis, Wolfgang Cerny
What's it about?
The film is based on a real story that happened in 1943 in the Sobibor concentration camp in German-occupied Poland. Soviet-Jewish soldier Alexander Pechersky at that time was serving in the Red Army as a lieutenant. In October 1943, he was captured by the Nazis and deported to the Sobibor concentration camp, where Jews were being exterminated in gas chambers. But, in just 3 weeks, Alexander was able to plan an international uprising of prisoners from Poland and Western Europe, the only successful uprising throughout the war, which led to the largest escape of prisoners from a Nazi concentration camp.

WEDNESDAY 18 NOVEMBER

The Invisibles
9:45pm

M
Germany, 2017
Genre: Drama, History
Language: German
Director: Claus Räfle
Starring: Max Mauff, Alice Dwyer, Ruby O. Fee, Aaron Altaras, Naomi Krauss, Tania Carlin, Victoria Schulz, Florian Lukas, Andreas Schmidt, Sergej Moya, Lucas Reiber, Adriana Altaras
What's it about?
Four young Jews survive the Third Reich in the middle of Berlin by living so recklessly that they become "invisible".

THURSDAY 19 NOVEMBER

T-34
9:30pm

M
Russia, 2018
Genre: War, Action, Drama, History
Language: German, Russian
Director: Alexey Sidorov
Starring: Alexander Petrov, Victor Dobronravov, Irina Starshenbaum, Vinzenz Kiefer, Yuriy Borisov,  Anton Bogdanov, Petr Skvortsov, Semyon Treskunov, Artyom Bystrov
What's it about?
In 1944, a courageous group of Russian soldiers managed to escape from German captivity in a half-destroyed legendary T-34 tank. Those were the times of unforgettable bravery, fierce fighting, unbreakable love and legendary miracles.

FRIDAY 20 NOVEMBER

13 Minutes
9:40pm

MA15+

Germany, 2015
Genre: Drama, War
Language: German
Director: Oliver Hirschbiegel
Starring: Christian Friedel, Johann von Bülow, Katharina Schüttler, Burghart Klaußner 
What's it about?
The breathtaking story of a man who nearly changed the world. 1939, when Hitler tricked millions of people at the height of his power, one said a radical 'No': Georg Elser, disparaged as an assassin, is one of the greatest resistance fighters.

MONDAY 23 NOVEMBER

Female Agents
9:30pm

MA15+
France, 2008
Genre: Drama, History, War
Language: French
Director: Jean-Paul Salomé
Starring: Sophie Marceau, Julie Depardieu, Moritz Bleibtreu
What's it about?
A five-woman commando unit parachutes into occupied France in May 1944 on a daring and dangerous mission to protect the secret of the D-Day Landings and eliminate Colonel Heindrich (Moritz Bleibtreu), the head of German counter-intelligence. Louise (Sophie Marceau) is a trained sniper and the widow of a Resistance leader. Jeanne (Julie Depardieu) is a tough hooker who won't hesitate to kill. Gaelle (Deborah Francis) is a young and brilliant explosives expert desperate to see some action. Suzy (Marie Gillain) is a stunning former showgirl and Heindrich's one-time lover. Maria (Maya Sansa) is an Italian contessa undercover with the French Resistance.

Female Agents delves beyond the Mata Hari myth
Female Agents review: Spy drama goes beyond the Mata Hari myth

TUESDAY 24 NOVEMBER

White Tiger
9:40pm

M
Russia, 2012
Genre: Action, War
Language: Russian
Director: Karen Shakhnazarov
Starring: Vladimir Ilin, Valeriy Grishko, Aleksey Vertkov, Vitaly Kishchenko
What's it about?
World War II is drawing to a close. Furious and prolonged fighting is exhausting both the Soviet and the fascist troops. The more decisive the advance of the Soviet army, the more often White Tiger, a huge, indestructible fascist tank, appears in the battlefield. It relentlessly emerges from the smoke of combat, ruthlessly destroys the adversary and swiftly vanishes. No one can either verify or refute its existence. However, the Soviet military command decides to build an extraordinary tank – a special version of the T-34. The pursuit of the mystic monster begins...

White Tiger Review

WEDNESDAY 25 NOVEMBER

Into the White (aka Cross of Honour)
9:30pm

M
Sweden, Norway, 2012
Genre: Drama, Action, War
Language: German, English
Director: Petter Naess
Starring: Rupert Grint, Stig Henrik Hoff, Florian Lukas, David Kross
What's it about?
High above the harsh Norwegian wilderness, English and German pilots shoot each other to the ground after a violent chance encounter. Isolated, they must fight to survive the brutal winter. Though war has made them enemies, antagonism is hard to maintain as days go by. Through mutual need, unlikely friendships bloom. Somehow, they become comrades. 

THURSDAY 26 NOVEMBER

Beanpole
9:35pm

MA
Russia, 2019
Genre: Drama
Language: Russian
Director: Kantemir Balagov
Starring: Viktoria Miroshnichenko, Vasilisa Perelygina, Konstantin Balakirev, Andrey Bykov
What's it about?
1945, Leningrad. World War II has devastated the city, demolishing its buildings and leaving its citizens in tatters, physically and mentally. Although the siege – one of the worst in history – is finally over, life and death continue their battle in the wreckage that remains. Two young women, Iya and Masha, search for meaning and hope in the struggle to rebuild their lives amongst the ruins.

FRIDAY 27 NOVEMBER

The Pianist
10pm

MA15+
France / Germany / UK / Poland, 2002
Genre: Biography, Drama, Music
Language: English
Director: Roman Polanski
Starring: Maureen Lipman, Thomas Kretschmann, Emilia Fox, Frank Finlay, Adrien Brody
What's it about?
A Polish Jewish musician struggles to survive the destruction of the Warsaw ghetto of World War II.

The Pianist Review

MONDAY 30 NOVEMBER

Stalingrad
9:30pm

MA15+
Russia, 2013
Genre: War, Action, Drama
Language: German, Russian
Director: Fyodor Bondarchuk
Starring: Thomas Kretschmann, Yanina Studilina, Philippe Reinhardt, Heiner Lauterbach, Mariya Smolnikova, Andrey Smolyakov, Oleg Volku, Pyotr Fyodorov, Sergey Bondarchuk, Dmitriy Lysenkov, Anna von Haebler, Mariya Sittel, Petar Zekavica, Georges Devdariani, Oksana Bazilevich, Aleksey Barabash
What's it about?
In 1942 one of the most important battles of World War II takes place. It stops the progress of Nazi forces and turns the tide of war in favour of the Allies. The Soviet army mounts a counter-attack on the Nazi forces that occupy half of Stalingrad on the other side of the Volga, but the operation to cross the river is unsuccessful. A few soldiers who manage to get to the other side take refuge in a house on the bank of Volga. Here they find a girl who didn’t escape when the Germans came. While the whole might of the German army descends onto them, the heroes of Stalingrad experience love, loss, joy and the sense of ultimate freedom that can only be felt by those about to die. 

TUESDAY 1 DECEMBER

Das Boot
9.30pm

M
West Germany, 1981
Genre: Drama, War
Language: German
Director: Wolfgang Petersen
Starring: Jurgen Prochnow, Bernd Tauber, Heinz Hoenig, Herbert Gronemeyer, Klaus Wennemann, Hubertus Bengsch, Martin Semmelrogge, Erwin Leder, Martin May, Claude-Oliver Rudolph, Jan Fedder, Ralf Richter, Joachim Bernhard, Oliver Stritzel
What's it about?
The famed and feared German U boat, the U-96, is patrolling the Atlantic during World War II when it encounters a convoy of enemy ships. Stealing themselves for battle, those aboard the submarine are surprised to find that it is nature rather than the enemy which poses the greater threat.

WEDNESDAY 2 DECEMBER

The Counterfeiters
9.30pm

MA15+
Austria / Germany, 2007
Genre: Drama, Crime, War
Language: German
Director: Stefan Ruzowitzky
Starring: August Diehl, Karl Markovics, Devid Striesow
What's it about?
We follow the dark tale of Salomon Sorowitsch, a Jewish concentration camp prisoner who saves his own skin and betters his lot by working as a crack counterfeiter for the Nazis.

The Counterfeiters review: A stunning piece of cinema
The Counterfeiters Review

THURSDAY 3 DECEMBER

Downfall
9.30pm

MA15+
Germany, 2004
Genre: Drama, History, Biography, War
Language: German
Director: Oliver Hirschbiegel
Starring: Bruno Ganz, Alexandra Maria Lara
What's it about?
1945 and Adolf Hitler has retreated to his Berlin bunker amidst the city's onslaught and destruction by the Soviet Red Army. When it becomes apparent that the German military campaign is a lost cause, he savagely lambasts all around him for having failed, while making plans for his final exit. 

Downfall: Gripping insight into Hitler's last days
Hitler reacts to SBS doing a 'Downfall' meme

FRIDAY 4 DECEMBER

The Thin Red Line
9.30pm

M
United States, 1998
Genre: War
Language: English
Director: Terrence Malick
Starring: Adrien Brody, Sean Penn, Nick Nolte, James Caviezel
What's it about?
In 1942, Private Witt is a U.S. Army absconder living peacefully with the locals of a small South Pacific island. Discovered by his commanding officer, Sergeant Welsh, Witt is forced to resume his active duty training for the Battle of Guadalcanal. As Witt and his unit land on the island, and the American troops mount an assault on entrenched Japanese positions, the story explores their various fates and attitudes towards life-or-death situations.

The Thin Red Line Review
Why ‘The Thin Red Line’ is the only movie I watch again and again

MONDAY 7 DECEMBER

Atonement
9.30pm

MA
United Kingdom, 2007
Genre: Drama, Romance, Fantasy, Mystery
Language: English
Director: Joe Wright
Starring: Juno Temple, Keira Knightley, Brenda Blethyn, Harriet Walter, Saoirse Ronan, Ailidh Mackay, Nonso Anozie, James McAvoy
What's it about?
In the English summer of 1935, 13-year-old fledgling writer Briony Tallis (Saoirse Ronan), irrevocably changes the course of several lives when she accuses her older sister Cecilia's (Keira Knightley) lover, Robbie (James McAvoy), a servant's son, of a crime he did not commit. The trauma follows them through World War II.  

Atonement Review

TUESDAY 8 DECEMBER

Testament of Youth
9.30pm

M

United Kingdom, Denmark, 2014
Genre: Drama, History, War
Language: English
Director: James Kent
Starring: Miranda Richardson, Emily Watson, Dominic West, Nicholas Farrell, Hayley Atwell, Alicia Vikander, Taron Egerton, Colin Morgan, Kit Harington, Teresa Churcher, Xavier Atkins, Henry Garrett
What's it about?
A powerful story of love, war and remembrance, based on the First World War memoir by Vera Brittain, which has become the classic testimony of that war from a woman’s point of view. A searing journey from youthful hopes and dreams to the edge of despair and back again, it’s a film about young love, the futility of war and how to make sense of the darkest times.

WEDNESDAY 9 DECEMBER

The Railway Man
9.30pm

M
United Kingdom, 2013
Genre: Drama
Language: English
Director: Jonathan Teplitzky
Starring: Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth, Hiroyuki Sanada, Stellan Skarsgård, Jeremy Irvine
What's it about?
During the Second World War, British soldier Erik Lomax was captured by the Japanese and forced to build The Burma Railway aka the 'Death Railway'. Decades later and still haunted by nightmares, he sets out to find those responsible for his torture with the help of his wife.

The Yanks are hot for The Railway Man
The Railway Man: Jonathan Teplitzky and Colin Firth
The Railway Man: Hiroyuki Sanada interview
The Railway Man Review

THURSDAY 10 DECEMBER

Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence
9.30pm

M
Japan, New Zealand, United Kingdom, 1983
Genre: Drama, History, War
Language: English, Japanese
Director: Nagisa Oshima
Starring: David Bowie, Tom Conti, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Takeshi Kitano, Jack Thompson, Johnny Okura, Alistair Browning, James Malcolm, Chris Broun, Yūya Uchida
What's it about?
Island of Java, 1942, during World War II. British Major Jack Celliers arrives at a Japanese prison camp, run by the strict Captain Yonoi. Colonel John Lawrence, who has a profound knowledge of Japanese culture, and Sergeant Hara, brutal and simpleton, will witness the struggle of wills between two men from very different backgrounds.

David Bowie in Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence

FRIDAY 11 DECEMBER

Their Finest
9.30pm

M
United Kingdom, 2017
Genre: Romance, War, Comedy, Drama
Language: English
Director: Lone Scherfig
Starring: Gemma Arterton, Sam Claflin, Bill Nighy, Richard E. Grant, Jack Huston, Helen McCrory, Eddie Marsan, Jake Lacy, Rachael Stirling, Jeremy Irons, Henry Goodman
What's it about?
During the Blitz of World War II, a female screenwriter (Gemma Arterton) works on a film celebrating England's resilience as a way to buoy a weary populace's spirits. Her efforts to dramatise the true story of two sisters (Lily Knight and Francesca Knight) who undertook their own maritime mission to rescue wounded soldiers are met with mixed feelings by a dismissive all-male staff.

'Their Finest': A Relentlessly Charming WWII Romcom

 

PLUS more streaming in the SBS On Demand War Stories Collection, including:

Hyena Road

MA15+
Canada, 2015
Genre: War, Drama
Language: English
Director: Paul Gross
Starring: Paul Gross, Rossif Sutherland, Clark Johnson, Allan Hawco, Christine Horne, Jennifer Pudavick, David Richmond-Peck, Nikki Duval, Neamat Arghandabi
What's it about?
Three different men, three different worlds, three different wars – all stand at the intersection of modern warfare – a murky world of fluid morality where all is not as it seems.

Churchill

PG
United Kingdom, 2017
Genre: Drama, Thriller, War
Language: English
Director: Jonathan Teplitzky
Starring: Brian Cox, Miranda Richardson, John Slattery, Julian Wadham, Richard Durden, Ella Purnell, James Purefoy, Danny Webb, Jonathan Aris, George Anton, Steven Cree, Peter Ormond, Angela Costello, Kevin Findlay, Miro Teplitzky
What's it about?
A ticking-clock thriller following Winston Churchill in the 24 hours before D-Day.


Sophie's Choice

MA 15+
United Kingdom, United States of America, 1982
Genre: Drama, Romance
Language: Czech, English, French, German, Polish, Russian
Director: Alan J. Pakula
Starring: Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, Peter MacNicol
What's it about?
Meryl Streep won an Oscar for her acclaimed performance as Sophie, a survivor of Nazi concentration camps, who lives in Brooklyn with her lover Nathan, a sparkling if unsteady American Jew obsessed with the Holocaust. They befriend Stingo, the movie's narrator, a young American writer new to New York City. But the happiness of Sophie and Nathan is endangered by her ghosts and his obsessions.

Sophie's Choice

Leningrad

M
United Kingdom, 2009
Genre: Drama, War
Language: English
Director: Aleksandr Buravskiy
Starring: Gabriel Byrne, Mira Sorvino, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Vladimir Ilyin
What's it about?
In 1941 the German invasion of Russia leads to the siege of Leningrad, a two-year-long military campaign designed to literally starve the city. In the midst of the suffering an English newspaper reporter finds herself trapped, unbeknownst to her American reporter boyfriend, between the German guns and the Soviet security system that cannot admit it erred in reporting her dead.

Leningrad Review

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