Dusty Faces, or ‘Verstaubt sind die Gesichter‘ in the original German, is a new webseries from the German indie production company ParaLight Worx dramatises the experience of German soldiers’ during World War Two. In the video’s description, ParaLight Worx explain that they aim to tell the personal stories of ordinary German soldiers during the war, relying “on gathered and told experiences to stay as much historically accurate as possible.”
The episode features and impressive level of historical weapons accuracy featuring K98ks, an MG42, stick grenades, P38 pistols and Soviet PPS-43s. Not only are these featured but they are also shown being used in the period correct manner.
The first episode of the ambitious new series follows Otto Degen, fighting on the Ostfront (Eastern Front), Otto is part of an MG42 team and the episode depicts a platoon level attack on Russian positions in a wood.
One of the most impressive things about ParaLight Worx is the production value they bring to their projects. With impressive use of post editing special effects and engagingly artistic cinematography. Without giving spoilers the immersive camera angles the ParaLight team choose thrust the viewer into Otto’s perspective.
Here’s one of ParaLight’s earlier short films Kurland ’44:
If you’re a fan of grittily realistic war movies like Saving Private Ryan or Generation War you’ll enjoy the well choreographed and shot battle scenes. While the film’s budget might limit scale it gives us some idea of what small unit actions might have been like. ParaLight have already released a string of short films looking at the German side of the war. It should be noted that due to Germany’s strict laws regarding the depiction of Nazi imagery the producers are keen to stress the film’s are made in accordance with the anti-war §86 Absatz 3 of German law.
Made on a limited budget Dusty Faces is an ambitious project and, if they are as serious about historical accuracy as they claim, one which sheds artistic light on the German soldier’ experiences during World War Two. While there is a fine socio-historical line to be tread with a delicate subject such as the German soldier’s experience of the war it will be interesting to see how ParaLight’s series develops and how the approach this challenge.