Battle for Sevastopol

Battle for Sevastopol

Sergey Mokritsky (2015)

15 Certificate


Our Score
The title of this absorbing Second World War drama is actually a bit of a misnomer, given that the siege of the Crimean city just provides the backdrop to the real focus here: the extraordinary life and achievements of Lyudmila Pavlichenko. Yulia Peresild gives a gutsy performance as the Ukrainian history student who answered the call of the Soviet Union to fight the invading Germans, using her marksmanship skills to become the top female sniper of the war with 309 enemy kills, earning her the nickname "Lady Death". There are shades of the 2001 film Enemy at the Gates about the subject matter and its CGI-enhanced battle scenes, but there's more to this true-life tale than the usual theatre-of-war horrors. Director Sergey Mokritsky humanises the story by framing it around Pavlichenko's visit to the States in 1942, where she developed a lasting friendship with First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, another formidable woman of her times. While the film might not fully grasp the zeal for the kill with which Pavlichenko went about her deadly business, it succeeds as a portrait of an inspirational hero who not only fought for her country but also had to stand up to chauvinism and prejudice.


A female Russian student becomes an expert sniper during the Second World War, regarded as a hero by her own people and a deadly threat by the German high command. In the later years of the war, she travels to the US, befriending Eleanor Roosevelt and spearheading a campaign to persuade America to join the Allies. Fact-based drama, starring Yuliya Peresild and Evgeniy Tsyganov. In Russian and English.

Cast & Crew

Lyudmila Pavlichenko Yulia Peresild
Eleanor Roosevelt Joan Blackham
Leonid Kitsenko Evgeniy Tsyganov
Dr Chopak Nikita Tarasov
Makarov Oleg Vasilkov
Mayor Vitaliy Linetskiy
Director Sergey Mokritsky
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Other Information

Language: Russian, English +subtitlesColourAvailable on: DVD