Enemy at The Gate was, initially for me, a war movie. It had the Russians trying to save their homeland, desperately holding on against the Germans. It had action, tension in the sub-plot of sniper vs sniper, etc. But in the end, it was just a war movie.
Watching it again years later with my take on life so much changed, i realize now it was a story of life.
You are in circumstances beyond your control - things set in motion long before your arrival on earth.
You imagine you make choices - choices that seem logical or prudent. Choices that end in disaster.
One man was betrayed as a cold, calculating killer. Another as a cold, tyrannical man sending others to their death.
But they were motivated to act thusly based on life viewed in the prism of their experiences, good and bad.
The hero, his friend and the woman they both loved were in the middle of hell.
Yet, one found a way to use his grief at losing the woman to his friend to show his love for his friend by sacrificing his life for him.
The friend used his sacrifice to become the hero he never wanted to be. And he honored his friend's sacrifice by being happy with the woman they both loved.