White Tiger: Russia's 2012 Oscar Entry

Russia’s Oscar entry, White Tiger, a major international project involving Russian and German actors, is based on a novel Tankman by Ilya Boyashov.

When the tale begins, 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 verify or refute its existence, however, the Soviet military command decides to build an extraordinary tank – a special version of the T-34 that can match the power of White Tiger.

The crew of this tank is headed by a man with a remarkable past, a tank crewman who was almost burnt alive in combat and doomed to death. Contrary to all expectations, he survives, recovers and returns to the ranks. He does not know his own name, he does not remember anything from his past, but he has acquired the unusual ability to understand the language of tanks. He is sure that the elusive fascist tank exists and must be destroyed, because White Tiger is the embodiment of war, its terror and its blood.

Director Karen Shakhnazarov:

Shakhnazarov has been directing films since 1976; his previous film, “Ward No. 6” was Russia’s Official Entry for the Academy Award in 2009. He has held the position as the head of Mosfilm since 1998, and under his leadership, the principal film studio of Russia overcame the deep crisis of the nineties and grew into Europe’s largest and most unique film production complex. Most of Russian film, TV, and video content is produced at the facilities of Mosfilm. The films directed by Karen Shakhnazarov have been presented at numerous prestigious international film festivals and have won over twenty awards. WHITE TIGER is his first film dealing with WWII; he made this film as a dedication to his father who joined the Army when he was 18 years old.

Running time: 104 Minutes.
In Russian and in German with English subtitles