Recaps & Reviews

Kursk Is An Interesting Look At The 2000 Russian Submarine Disaster

In 2000 during a naval exercise an explosion within a Russian submarine caused the deaths of 118 sailors and officers. At the time Russian officials claimed that all aboard the vessel were killed instantly, but a few days later it was revealed than a handful had survived the initial explosion and were trapped in a separate section of the submarine. Unfortunately they were unable to be rescued. Kursk tells their story.

While Kursk is based on true events, the majority of the story told is fiction. There is no way of knowing what happened on board the submarine after the explosion, and a large portion of the film focuses on their survival efforts. Even the stories told about the families are mainly made up to tell the story the way the filmmakers wanted to tell it. That in itself is the problem with films that tell stories based on true events. Historical fiction is a very niche genre, and in a lot of cases people really want either the facts or a completely fictional story. That being said, there is enjoyment to be had by watching the film. The director chose a rather unique way of filming, going from normal wide-screen aspect for life outside the submarine, to a cropped screen for anything going on inside the vessel. It gives you a feeling of claustrophobia, which is what the sailors would be feeling. You also can’t help but feel for the families involved in the tragedy, as they truly were not being told the truth of what happened, and with the refusal by the Russian government to accept help from other countries at first, it makes the pain that much stronger. And really that’s what this movie is all about, strong emotions during a terrible tragedy.

While Kursk won’t be for everyone, it will have its fans. It might have been more interesting to stay focused on the facts, and have what happened on the submarine after the explosion stay a mystery. Then again, there might not have been much of a movie to make if that was the case.

By: Roderick Thedorff

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