At the height of the Cold War, the Soviet film industry set out to prove it could outdo Hollywood with a production that would dazzle the world: a titanic, awe-inspiring adaptation of Leo Tolstoyâs classic tome in which the fates of three soulsâthe blundering, good-hearted Pierre; the heroically tragic Prince Andrei; and the radiant, tempestuous Natashaâcollide amid the tumult of the Napoleonic Wars. Employing a cast of thousands and an array of innovative camera techniques, director Sergei Bondarchuk conjures a sweeping vision of grand balls that glitter with rococo beauty and breathtaking battles that overwhelm with their expressionistic power. As a statement of Soviet cinemaâs might, War and Peace
succeeded wildly, garnering the Academy Award for best foreign-language film and setting a new standard for epic moviemaking.
- New interviews with cinematographer Anatoly Petritsky and filmmaker Fedor Bondarchuk, son of director Sergei Bondarchuk
- Two documentaries, from 1966 and 1969, about the making of the film
- Television program from 1967 on actor Ludmila Savelyeva, featuring Sergei Bondarchuk
- New program with historian Denise J. Youngblood (Bondarchukâs âWar and Peaceâ: Literary Classic to Soviet Cinematic Epic) detailing the cultural and historical contexts for the film
- Janus Films rerelease trailer
- An essay by critic Ella Taylor