MOSCOW – The Russian film AK-47 tells the story of a man born in a Siberian village to a peasant family with barely any education who invented the most popular and deadliest rifle of the 20th Century.
Nelli Krasnovskaya, the eldest daughter of Mikhail Kalashnikov, described her father as a “true patriot.”
“He invented the rifle only to defend himself from the enemy,” she told EFE.
The carnage Kalashnikov witnessed during World War II was what led him to create the weapon.
The film, which will be released on Feb. 20, details his life from when he was injured during combat in 1941 to when the rifle was adopted by the Soviet Army in 1948.
An incident in which a soldier died at the hands of the Germans because his weapon jammed was what convinced him that his destiny was not to fight on the front line but to work behind the scenes.
Mikhailovna described the film as “fantastic, historical and true.”
“It describes the character of Mikhail Kalashnikov very well, his obstinacy, perseverance and love for work,” she added.
“My father lived for 93 years a life that was so beautiful and interesting.”
Kalashnikov is one of the best-known Russian surnames in the world, but few know about the obstacles the weapon’s designer had to overcome.
Born in a village in the Altai Republic, he had to fight against social and ideological prejudices, with his family facing persecution because they were peasants.
“My only fault is being the son of peasants stripped of their land,” he said during the film.
His rifle has been fired in all the conflicts that have ravaged the world during the last 60 years.
The film, released on the centenary of his birth and the eve of the 75th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany, was shot on the outskirts of Moscow and Saint Petersburg and in Crimea.
Director Konstantin Buslov said: “It’s not patriotic, it’s an honest movie.
“Nor did we want to include any provocation to get the attention of the Western public.”
Actor Yuriy Borisov, who portrays Kalashnikov, said that although the film was aimed to appeal to the Russian public it can be appreciated anywhere in the world.
“Its origin doesn’t matter. It is a universal character. Many people run into difficulties in life while pursuing their dream,” he told EFE.
“Kalashnikov was a humble Russian who came to create the AK-47. That’s all.”
Kalashnikov wrote a letter six months before his death to the Russian Orthodox Church seeking spiritual guidance about having created a weapon that killed people all over the world.
“The pain I have in my soul is unbearable. An unanswered question echoes again and again: since my rifle killed so many people, am I, Mikhail Kalashnikov, 93, son of peasants, of Christian Orthodox faith, guilty of these deaths, even if they were enemies?” he wrote.
In the final years of his life, he said in conversations with those close to him that he was not prepared for how widely his weapon would be used.