First ever Kazakh-British feature film has officially been hatched this spring with a working title ‘Flags over Berlin’. It’s a Second World War spy-flick with loads of action scenes, espionage, suspense, and … Love!
We had a sneak preview of the first paragraphs of the film’s extended synopses courtesy of Dauren Toleukhanov and Zarina Kadylbek, a writing duo, working on the film story.
‘Flags over Berlin’ is the story of one of the most important intelligence missions of the World War II.
A British ‘Task Force’ operative must go to the besieged Berlin in mid-April 1945 under orders from Sir Winston Churchill. He must do so wearing the guise of a newspaper correspondent writing a story about the frontline units of the Red Army preparing to storm Berlin.
His real objective is to prevent Soviet Allies from obtaining Berlin-held copies of Nazi Nuclear Program documents as final part of top-secret ‘Operation Alsos’. He must also try to prevent Hitler from escaping capture during the Battle of Berlin as well as to identify and eliminate the SS ‘Werewolf’ die-hard operatives as they plot to kill Churchill.
He will be the only Brit in Berlin for a while surrounded by millions of Soviet and German troops. The mission is hard and extremely dangerous, but he must prevail for his country and His Majesty The King.
The mission will see him assigned to the 150s Rifles Regiment of the Red Army. The official Flag of Victory is given to this regiment by Marshall Zhukov in order to be hoisted over the Reichstag by a Georgian soldier as Stalin is Georgian. The battle weary soldiers are encouraged by their officers – whoever hoists the first red flag over the Reichstag will become a ‘Hero of the Soviet Union’.
Our hero quickly bonds with private Gregory Bulatov and an oriental-looking lieutenant Rakhimzhan Koshkarbaev. Rakhim is very vocal about his Kazakh ethnicity and proud of his nomadic culture. The ‘three musketeers’ become brothers-in-arms during hand-to-hand combat with Nazi die-hards on the streets of Berlin, saving each other’s lives a number of times, with unforeseen consequences for the Mission…’
‘Flags over Berlin’ is based on a true story: Koshkarbaev and Bulatov were sidelined as true heroes by Marshal Zhukov in favour of sergeants Kantaria and Yegorov to please Stalin. They were denied their status of ‘Heroes of the Soviet Union’ three times – by Stalin, Brezhnev and Gorbachev. Recognition came to Koshkarbaev only with Independence: there countless are schools and streets baring his name in contemporary Kazakhstan.
This remarkable story is definitely screen-worthy for anyone coming from Kazakhstan but the idea was to make it into an international film. Thus, a central British character based on the likes of Ian Flemming and other T-Force operatives was introduced to the plot. This main hero will witness the storming of the Reichstag and the first red flag hoisted by Koshkarbaev and Bulatov making the story shine.
The first scene from the movie will be filmed over the summer as a student project of London University of Arts graduating class.
The teaser crew:
Assistant producer Nikolai Panek, cinematographer Katie Spencer, scriptwriter Isaac Carroll, sound supervisor Leo Taylor, editor Jakob Hassan.