In 1914, with Italy about to enter World War I, a commune of young artists from Northern Europe establishes itself on the rural island of Capri, a safe haven for dissidents and nonconformists from all over the world, like Russian exiles led by Maxim Gorky, preparing to an upcoming revolution. Here, local girl Lucia meets Seybu, the charming leader of the commune, and Carlo, a young doctor.
Fleeing from the Russian secret police, a young Estonian fencer is forced to return to his homeland, where he becomes a physical education teacher at a local school. The past however catches up and puts him in front of a difficult choice.
Sergei Eisenstein's final film, this is the first part of a three-part biopic of Czar Ivan Grozny, which was never completed due again to producer dissatisfaction with Eisenstein's attempts to use forbidden experimental filming techniques and excessive cost overruns. The second part was completed but not released for a decade after Eisenstein's death and a change of heart in the USSR government toward his work; the third part was only in its earliest stage of filming when shooting was stopped altogether. In this first part, set during the early part of his reign, Ivan faces betrayal from the aristocracy and even his closest friends as he seeks to unite the Russian people.
Stalinstadt, East Germany, 1956. While the Hungarian uprising against Soviets is taking place, teenage members of a classroom of the local school perform a seemingly harmless act that causes unexpected consequences.
In the winter of 1944, the Allied Armies stand ready to invade Germany at the coming of a New Year. To prevent this occurrence, Hitler orders an all out offensive to re-take French territory and capture the major port city of Antwerp. "The Battle of the Bulge" shows this conflict from the perspective of an American intelligence officer as well as from a German Panzer Commander.
Summer 1863. The Confederacy pushes north into Pennsylvania. Union divisions converge to face them. The two great armies clash at Gettysburg, site of a theology school. For three days, through such legendary actions as Little Round Top and Pickett's Charge, the fate of "one nation, indivisible" hangs in the balance.
In July 1945, during the end of World War II, Japan is forced to accept the Potsdam Declaration. A cabinet meeting has continued through days and nights, but a decision cannot be made. The U.S. drops atomic bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. General Korechika Anami is torn over making the proper decision and the Emperor of Japan worries about his people. Prime Minister Kantaro Suzuki leads the cabinet meeting, while Chief Secretary Hisatsune Sakomizu can't do anything, but watch the meeting. At this time, Major Kenji Hatanaka and other young commissioned officers, who are against Japan surrendering, move to occupy the palace and a radio broadcasting station. The radio station is set to broadcast Emperor Hirohito reading out the Imperial Rescript on the Termination of the War.
Biography of Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the founder of modern Pakistan is told through flashbacks as his soul tries to find eternal rest. The flashbacks start in 1947 as Jinnah pleads for a separate nation from the Muslim regime, infuriating Lord Mountbatten. Mountbatten then tries to enlist Gandhi & Nehru to persuade Jinnah to stop his efforts. Gandhi sides with Jinnah, which upsets Nehru. However, Jinnah turns down the offer to become prime minister and the film takes another slide back to 1916, which reveals all of the political implications that have occurred.