My life rang with a song among the people
My death is a song of struggle.
Railway station in the German rear. A new batch of captured Soviet soldiers is brought here. Among them is the famous Tatar poet Musa Dzhalil.
The poet turns his thoughts to the Fatherland, to his native Kazan, where his wife and little daughter are waiting for him. What is now with them? Musa is horrified that due to the fact that he is captured, his family may be subjected to reprisals: according to the charter of the Red Army, a captured soldier was considered a traitor to the motherland.
Prisoners of war gather behind the barbed wire of the camp. Exhausted, exhausted from hunger, people do not lose faith in victory. The tests did not break their will.
Friendship sealed to us
Blood and flame.
Troubled days of 1942. A short break between fights.
The soldiers write letters home, clean their weapons. Kazakh Satpayev sings a sad song about distant Irtysh. Ishnazarov composes a letter to Kazan girls, but, having heard, he forgets about everything. The visiting captain Dzhalil helps Ishnazarov to complete the letter by finding simple heartfelt words.
A frightened lieutenant Kanzafarov runs in: the military unit is surrounded, there is no escape. Dzhalil abruptly cuts him off, ordering an end to the panic. Colonel Zhuravlev threatens to bring the coward to justice, but Kanzafarov swears in battle to atone for his guilt.
The fighters disperse. Zhuravlev reveals to Dzhalil the seriousness of the situation. He talks about his decision to divert the forces of the Nazis so that Musa, with part of the detachment, could get out of the encirclement ...
He who does not know courage is a slave.
Place of recent battle. On the charred ground lies a badly wounded Dzhalil.
But what is it? It seems to the poet that he hears a lullaby. A woman appears, shaking a dead child in her arms. It seems to the poet that death itself appears in the guise of a mad woman.
Kansafarov flees from the front line. Musa stands in his way. The traitor persuades Dzhalil to flee with him, but the poet orders him to return to the battlefield. The deserter is trying to stab the only witness to his flight. Dzhalil shoots him ...
A detachment of German invaders is approaching. Unable to resist, Dzhalil wants to commit suicide, but there are no more rounds in his pistol: he spent the last bullet that the poet cherished for himself on a traitor ...
In the German commandant’s office, the Nazis interrogate and torture Musa. But it is not physical pain that torments the poet. He executes himself because, wounded in battle, he was captured, not being able to take his own life.
Dzhalil recalls the words of Colonel Zhuravlev, who admitted that Musa, whose fiery verses raise people to fight, is dear to him like a son. The poet is thinking about his wife and daughter. These thoughts help Dzhalil endure all torment.
The tormented poet is taken out of the commandant’s office. He is surrounded by friends. Dzhalil admits that the enemies offer to save his life if he goes to their service. It's impossible!
Prisoners arrange advice. Belgian Andre guards them, a carefree little song warning about the approach of sentries. Friends offer to raise a riot in order to organize the escape of Musa, but the poet refuses, not wanting to be saved at the cost of the lives of others. Dzhalil makes another decision: from now on, he will fight the enemy, wearing a shameful mask of a traitor. He only fears that the rumor of betrayal will reach the homeland and loved ones ...
Who dares to say
What have I betrayed ?!
Railway station in Germany. There is loading into the echelon of the next batch of prisoners sent to the German rear for forced labor.
Legionnaires appear, recruited by the Nazis to be sent to the Eastern Front; with them is Dzhalil. The poet admonishes the Idel-Ural warriors. With hatred and contempt, prisoners of his words meet him.
The train leaves, the German officers disperse. Captured Tatar girl Hayat, looking at the far-away paths, sings a sad song full of longing for her native places. Dzhalil listens, and then tries to talk to the girl. Instead of answering, Hayat throws contempt into his face. Runaway prisoners insult him, threaten reprisal. German soldiers are pushing people back.
Suddenly, a panic arises among the Nazis: the previous battalion of legionnaires, formed by Dzhalil, went over to the side of the Soviet Army! Musa exposed.
Do not believe!
Hospital in the Soviet rear. Women decorate the Christmas tree. Among them is the poet’s wife, who for a long time has not heard from her husband. Girlfriends console and support her in difficult times ...
Among the wounded, the poet’s wife accidentally meets Kanzafarov. Front-line officer admits that he served with Dzhalil. With a sinking heart, the poet’s wife asks what is with her Musa? Kanzafarov behaves strangely: he does not want to directly answer her questions.
Finally, he admits that Musa went over to the side of the enemy. Not! A loving heart will never believe this terrible message.
... Imagination of Dzhalil, who languishes in a German prison, presents pictures of the suffering of her beloved and her arrest as the wife of "the enemy of the people."
I’ve always dedicated songs to my homeland,
Today I give my life to my homeland.
Moabit Prison, Berlin.