rev-ewe 22: Ballad of a Soldier

баллада о солдате (US title: Ballad of a Soldier)
Russia (USSR)
Gregory Chukhrai

Masterpiece! Just like practically every other Janus Film production I've seen, this movie is magnificent. Visually captivating, emotional, inspirational, well-written, and definitely not dated (okay, maybe a BIT dated..but at the root of it, the characters face all the same dilemmas as today!). It's not too much of a tear-jerker, but it sure does play on quite a few of your emotions. It starts out a bit like a typical war movie, but quickly becomes a collection of vignettes into the lives of little characters across Russia. There is no happy ending, so don't expect one.. but that makes it oh, so wonderfully Russian!

The story is about this young soldier who, instead of being decorated, elects to go home and visit his mother. On the way, he meets various people who he tries to help out, which cuts into his time getting home...

I'm trying to put less and less info on the plot because I really don't want to ruin anyone's idea about it, but it really is an interesting look into 1950s Soviet Russia and film-making at the time. It didn't feel like an old movie for me, but obviously faced some technical issues that make it clear just how old it is. Really an easy plot to follow and the characters constantly keep you interested. Basically, a great piece of art.

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