As with so many early films by Sokurov, this film has two dates: the first is the date of its creation (the film was then banned), the second is the date of the final edition and legal public screening. The film consists of German and Soviet archive footage of the World War II — to be exact, from the end of the war. An attempt to make a large–scale documentary on this subject had been undertaken in the Soviet cinema of the 1960s: the film — “Ordinary Fascism” — by the outstanding Soviet film–maker Mikhail Romm had become a classic retrospective investigation of fascism. But Sokurov uses the expressive power of the documentary image in an absolutely different way. He does not amass materials for a large–scale picture of Nazi crimes.