Americans faced with the magnitude of the conflict between Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia, without anything in their history to turn to, can only rely on metaphors, fables and science fiction to get any imaginary grip on that situation.

Flashbacks in Larisa Shepitko’s Wings, involving Maya Bulgakova as a fighter pilot and Leonid Dyachkov as her lover and comrade-in-arms, could easily be moments of rare tenderness and tragedy in “Battlestar Galactica.” The film examines Bulgakova’s life after those impossible events, as she tries to relate to a daughter and students and a world in peacetime.

Grade: A