Баллада о солдате
January 18, 2014 9:50 AM   Subscribe

In 1959, MOSFILM released "Ballad of a Soldier," made during the Khrushchev Thaw . It chronicles a young soldier, Alyosha, and his six-day trip home from the front during World War II, which "sweeps you, with feeling, into the physical and psychological world of Russians at war."
And it is on YouTube.

Directed by Grigori Chukhrai (The Telegraph), starring Vladimir Ivashov and Zhanna Prokhorenko

At the time, the New York Times reviewed it:
Small adventures, yes. But in the context in which they have been arranged by Grigori Chukhrai, who directed and helped to write the script, they become the moving episodes, the stanzas, in a profound and cumulative lament for the disorder, the grief and the frustration of people borne down upon by war. They become the heart-rending dilemmas and the strength-testing challenges set one upon the other in a ballad that states the cruelties of a monstrous agony.
It is also available in the Criterion Collection, which has spurred more reviews.

Criterion Reflections: Ballad of a Soldier
Film School Rejects: Boots On The Ground
Taking A Look: Ballad of a Soldier
Senses of Cinema: Ballad Of A Soldier

bonus: Your Guide To Mosfilm In English On Youtube
posted by the man of twists and turns (2 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
As I wrote a few years ago after seeing it again for the first time in decades:
I enjoyed Ballad of a Soldier, but was more impatient with its longueurs and amateur lead actors than I had been as a beardless youth who identified with the thwarted lovers. This time around I found the opening and closing scenes with the soldier’s mother magnificent and the segment with the bitter cripple Vasya (played by Yevgeni Urbansky, dead at thirty-three a few years later) powerful and well written, but I rolled my eyes at the endless shots of rolling wheels and yearning puppy-love eyes. I guess I’m getting old and cynical.
If you want a Soviet WWII movie, I recommend without reservations The Cranes Are Flying, which is a masterpiece on both the human and the purely cinematic levels.
posted by languagehat at 10:51 AM on January 18, 2014 [2 favorites]

And also available on Youtube
posted by IndigoJones at 12:56 PM on January 18, 2014 [2 favorites]

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