Set at the end of WWII, Four Days in May, a war drama directed by Achim von Borries to the work of Dmitry Faust, tells a story of high morals, involving a price of life and death. The story itself was initially considered authentic -- based on a real incident, but later put into doubt and refuted as work of fiction. It tells the story of a small Soviet army unit, left behind for reconnaissance and observation mission, reporting the movements of the retreating German enemy. The unit takes over a large building that houses a German orphanage. Despite the initial hostility, relationships form between the Russian soldiers and the staff and orphans. When a drunken commander of a passing by Russian division tries to rape a German girl from the orphanage, an unlikely alliance is created between the small Russian unit and a nearby unit of retreating German soldiers. Both Germans and Russians turn against the larger, better-equipped, Russian division which, under the drunken commander's orders, attempts to wipe out the small defiant Russian unit.
If one puts aside the politics and the shaken credibility of the story, Four Days in May is a touching human drama. It enjoys strong acting, especially by its two leading actors, Alexei Guskov, as the Captain of the small Russian unit, and Paul Wenzel, as a German teenager orphan. The film suffers from some pacing issues and feels, at times, as a showcase for acting. But it does have an interesting core story and enough tension to make for an engaging film.