If you're feeling overwhelmed, but still want to squeeze a film into your daily routine, this list is made for…
Ballad of a Soldier
During World War II, 19 year old soldier Alyosha gets a medal as a reward for a heroic act at the front. Instead of this medal he asks for a few days leave to visit his mother and repair the roof of their home. On the train eastwards he meets Shura who is on her way to her aunt. In those few days traveling together they fall in love.
Three years before Andrei Tarkovsky made his first feature film Ivanovo Detstvo (1962) and became one of the most extraordinary directors of all time, war veteran Grigori Chukhrai wrote and directed a memorable and considerably beloved anti-war statement called Ballada o Soldate. This beautiful cinematographic achievement was basically one of the first films that accurately portrayed the human side of people that were involved in the war and the cataclysmic aftermath caused in an environment surrounded by hopelessness and chaos.
This remarkably respected and revolutionary war masterpiece is set on the times of World War II and opens on the Russian battlefront against the Germans where a young nineteen-year-old Russian soldier defeats two German tanks single-handedly. His name is Alyosha…
#45 movie Around the World in 80 Movies - Russia
Oh, boy. I loved it!
It's strange. The late fifties are all about the Japanese, Americans, Bergman and Fellini. It's Hitchcock, Wilder, Kurosawa, Kobayashi, Mizogushi, and whatnot, but it's before the French wave, before Tarkovsky, and no-one talks about what other Russians were doing. Mikhail Kalatozov's The Cranes are Flying or Grigoriy Chukhray's Ballad of a Soldier are still whispered about in quiet corners of cinephile forums, and if my recent experience with the latter is anything to go by... People should shout about them from the top of their roofs!
The cinematography is excellent, the storytelling is subtle and powerful, and Chukhray had me hooked from the opening scene.…
Why isn't Russian cinema given more importance today? I believe no one makes anti-war films or tell humanist stories in wake of war quite like them. Russia's cinematic importance goes further than that as well. Their filmmaking techniques and methods are as influential as German Expressionism. Anyways, Ballad of a Soldier is a 1959 Soviet film directed by Grigori Chukhrai. It is set during World War II but is not literally a war film. What this film basically does is to show the turmoil and affect of war on humans. That is done in a way which neither makes any sort of particular statement about a…
Ballad of a Soldier has an exciting opening. Alyosha Skvortsov (Vladimir Ivashov) finds himself in the middle of a tank battle. He runs and fights for his life – pursued by the mechanical German beasts, he does all he can to survive. And if that means blowing up the tanks, then so be it. There is a thin line between heroism and fear. It is difficult to tell the difference – or indeed know if fearless heroism is but an invention of the wartime propagandists.
But Alyosha is treated as a young hero all the same – and his reward is a few days R&R so he can return to his hometown to help fix the roof on his mother’s…
Week 28 of the Letterboxd Season Challenge 2015-16: Post-Stalin Soviet Union Week. My list.
Sad that this is so underseen, it's a great movie; its focus relies on Alyosha's trip to see his mother and the people he encounters along the way. By telling his fate at the opening of the film (like another war movie did years later), there's an underlying feeling of sadness and hopelessness that's subtle but always there. The lead actors are pretty good for first-timers, and the cinematography is surprisingly sharp and beautiful.
Just one of those movies for which all the words in the world are too small.
great simple film. powerful to have fall to pieces. true classic.
Ballad of a Soldier [3.5/4]
- Really earnest, devastating depiction of the connective power of selflessness and kindness, and how fragile a strong connection can still be just due to time and circumstance. You can lose someone with no fault of either of you. Things just happen, and you separate, and that's it. What you had was beautiful, but the fact that you had it is tragic when you know you could still actively be having it, had some things worked out differently.
Great elements to it. It works well as a drama and there are some genuinely touching moments. The opening battle sequence is really impressive, as well.
However, I hated the romance. Not because romance is icky, but because the girl was dumb and I didn't like her character at all.
Though some of the dialogue hasn't aged well, Ballad of a Soldier still proves to be an engaging and heartbreaking war drama that I was on board with the entire time.
Are Russian films as devestating as Russian literature? Yes
After a heroic wartime act, a young soldier is granted a few days leave so he can visit his mother and patch her roof, but things get even more complicated when he falls in love on the ride there. Grigoriy Chukhray's "Ballad of a Soldier" is one of those aching films that leaves a pleasant twist in your chest once you're finished. Between this and "The Cranes Are Flying," I think I'm just a sucker for a good Russian wartime love story.
And one thing in common with those two films is that the performances by the female halves of the love triangle are fantastic. Much like Tatiana Samoilova in the Kalatozov film, Zhanna Prokhorenko is simultaneously heartbreaking and heartwarming.…
What is it with Russians and cinematography?
This film reminds me why I love film and why I think film is a very important and very necessary medium and art form. This film is about a young Russian soldier during World War II who asks for a few days leave to visit his mother as reward for a heroic act. On the way, he meets a series of events that delays him along with a girl who he falls in love with. The story is fictional but one can't help but feel that a version of this might have happened at some point during the war. The film is heartbreaking and very bittersweet but manages to find moments of humor. I've seen so many movies about World War II, but this film still managed to affect me. It's essential viewing.
A movie in which a sentient moral compass dressed as a Russian soldier runs some errands for some people.
(I'm sure this movie was objectively very good.)
High-rated movies with very few views. Suggestions are welcome.
UPDATED: October 21, 2016
The Criterion Collection is a video distribution company that sells "important classic and contemporary films" in…