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Battle of a Soldier A confinement review

Ballad of a Soldier: Vladimir Ivashov, Nikolai ...

By Alex Deleon

Just watched one of the greatest of all Russian films -- On Russian TV, One of the very best. Ballad of a Soldier.  World War II. Black and white masterpiece.

I saw it only when it first came out in 1959 But it made such a tremendous impression on me that still remembered many scenes all these years later.



Years later in Manila  I was at the same dinner table with director Grigori Bondarchuk and we  had a fine conversation -- that was 1983, at the Manila film festival This time no subtitles but staggering anyway ..

I actually caught much of the Russian dialogue.

A 19 year old soldier at the front is overrun by german tanks but finds a bazooka in a foxhole and knocks two tanks out with it.

LYUBISH! -- Howdya like that! - he shouts as he scores a bullseye on tank two.

Rewarded with a medal for heroism, but he he would rather have a weekend  pass to go home and see his mother.  Granted.  The next section of the film is all on a freight train that Alyosha hops to get home.  On board is also young girl who is so frightened she wants to jump off. Over an river. This is Shura, a young beauty sporting a long blonde pigtail. He keeps her from jumping off then gradually one thing leads  to another and they fall in love.

Many adventures on the train. Finally they get off and are separated swearing they will meet again after the war. very touching.  End part two.

Coda. Again many adventures. He's is now on another train that gets bombarded at a bombed out bridge. Off the train in flames. Gets hop on truck the ast stretch to home. Finally reunited with mother. Tender desperate hugs out in a field wity many other women ariund but his time is up snd he already had to go back to the front. One hug from mother was all he got.

Back onto the truck and off into the distance as film ends on a shot of the sky and a narratir over, explaining that there were many stiries kike this during the war.

Great great black and white Soviet film revisited.



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