One of the most romantic, and indeed dangerous, jobs during World War II was that of a pilot. Fifty-one percent of Britain’s Bomber Command crew died during the conflict and while most lost their lives in combat many also perished in accidents and on training exercises. It wasn’t a career for the faint of heart and you had to place all your faith in mechanics. In The Pilot: A Battle for Survival, one airman must fight for his life on the ground.
On the North-Western front in 1941, Nikolai Komlev’s (Pyotr Fyodorov) is on a mission to stop the advance of a German tank unit. His plane his shot down, but he manages to crash-land in a remote forest clearing. Along with his machine-gunner, they begin the long trek towards their own troops. However, the Nazis are soon hot on their heels. What ensues is a test of mental and physical endurance. Nikolai must evade predators, his pursuers and survive the dangerous conditions.
The Pilot: A Battle for Survival is a patriotic war film which highlights the courage and bravery of those airmen who paid a high price for their service. Especially those determined to ‘do their bit’, despite being severely wounded. Renat Davletyarov’s film doesn’t stint on action or period detail. There are plenty of impressive set-pieces and moment of jeopardy along the way, but it’s the determination and human story which drives Nikolai to continue. Whilst there’s a little too much overt propaganda on show, The Pilot: A Battle for Survival is an entertaining and powerful drama.
The Pilot: A Battle for Survival is released on Digital in the UK on 28 February.