Before “Le Chant du Loup”, there was “Kursk” by Thomas Vinterberg. A feature film that focuses on the true story behind the disappearance of the Kursk submarine. Focus on this true story.
Kursk : the submarine on screen
Directed by Thomas Vinterberg (The hunt, Festen and more recently Drunk), Kursk released in theaters on November 7, 2018. Worn by Matthias Schoenaerts, Léa Seydoux or Colin Firth, the feature film traces the sinking of the Russian nuclear submarine K-141 Kursk, which occurred in the Barents Sea on August 12, 2000. On board the damaged vessel, twenty-three sailors are struggling to survive. On the ground, their families fight desperately against the bureaucratic blockages that never cease to compromise the hope of saving them.
Even if Kursk remains a minor film of Thomas Vinterberg’s filmography, the poignant tale focuses on a little-known true story.
The story behind the film
To stage his film, Thomas Vinterberg relied mainly on the work of journalist Robert Moore, titled A Time to Die: The Untold Story of the Kursk Tragedy. The author has indeed dissected the various scientific expertises which have been drawn up to explain the accident of the submarine.
August 10, 2000 the Kursk, a Russian submarine that was twice the size of a Boeing 747, allegedly unsinkable, sank due to two internal explosions. These were so powerful that they were recorded as far away as Alaska. The Kursk is then sent by the bottom into the arctic waters of the Barents Sea. Of the 118 crew, at least 23 survived the blasts. During the next nine days, many rescue missions are set up to get them out of this hell, but all fail.
For more realism in rescue sequences, Thomas Vinterberg turned to Captain David Russel. The latter himself led one of the Kursk rescue missions for the Royal Navy. He then became a consultant on the film. Played by Colin Firth in Kursk, David Russel also assisted journalist David Moore in the development of his book.
Obviously, as in any adaptation, Thomas Vinterberg took liberties with the real story. He notably dramatized his story by adding a child to the main character:
The main character, for example, actually had no children. In the film, he has a child and a second is on the way. We wanted to draw a portrait of each of the sailors of the Kursk and the seventy-one children they left behind. So we combined all of that.
Kursk is an amazing and thrilling submarine film, which opened its voice to other films in the genre, such as The Incredible The song of the wolf.