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BURIAL (2022)

Release Date: 09/02/22 [Cinemas]

Genre: Thriller/War

Studio: IFC Midnight

"A small group of Russian soldiers have the task of taking Hitler's discovered remains back to Stalin in Moscow."


Burial is the second feature film from writer and director Ben Parker. The beginning of the movie takes place in 1991 as Mikhail Gorbachev is resigning as President of the USSR. Anna (Harriet Walter) watches this announcement on the news. Her night is interrupted when an intruder enters her home. The intruder, Karl (David Alexander), finds he has met his match when Anna tases him and chains him to a radiator. It is revealed that Karl is looking to confront Anna about her role in a mission that took place at the end of World War II. 


We are then whisked away to 1945 and Anna’s younger self, Brana (Charlotte Vega). The war is over and Brana has been to Hitler’s bunker where he and his closest conspirators shot themselves. It is Brana’s mission to bring the body of Hitler back to the Soviet Union so that Stalin can see it for himself. Each night Brana and the small group of soldiers that are accompanying her, bury the crate containing the body to avoid it winding up in the wrong hands. After a few days with no incidents, they are ambushed while making their way through the forest. The night of cat and mouse hunting games culminates in Brana and her group commandeering a house and hiding the body underground in a shed. The final scenes of the movie are a large standoff between the two groups as they fight over the dead body of Hitler. 


The acting in Burial is adequate enough to get the point across. Vega is very believable as a younger Anna and Harriet Walter is always very solid. Barry Ward is also noteworthy for his portrayal of Tor. His heavy eyes convey Tor’s battle weary inner world well and he is genuinely the most likable of the soldiers on Brana’s team. Tom Felton also puts in a solid performance as Lukasz, a Polish man who assists Brana and her team. There are some oddities in Burial that didn’t quite fit with the overall feel of the wartime story. The forest group uses some type of mushroom smoke against Brana’s group that causes hallucinations. This added a touch of oddly placed surrealism in an otherwise very straight forward movie. In addition to the drug induced haze, there was an accent issue that was a bit irritating. Despite the wide range of nationalities (Polish, German, Russian etc.) all of the actors donned English accents which was a tad off putting and at times made it really difficult to immerse yourself into the story. 


Burial is a quick watch clocking in at 1 hour and 35 minutes and to be honest even with such a short runtime it still sometimes seemed like it was dragging. Not to mention history buffs might be disappointed as this story takes certain creative licenses with the actual story of what happened to Hitler’s body. The ending tries to peak your interest as Anna shows Karl something in a box and leaves us wondering what it is. But even that little mystery is hard to really care about as the credits roll.

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