Ballad Of A Soldier

1062. BALLAD OF A SOLDIER (1959-USSR). Directed by GRIGORI CHUKHRAI. One of the best Soviet films of the post-World War II era – and one of the must beloved masterpieces of all time. The hero of this tragic, poetic “ballad” is an innocent young soldier. Alyosha whose bravery in disabling Nazi tanks earns him a six-day leave travel home and visit his mother. As he journeys across his country, Alyosha experiences many frustrating delays, and has a series of memorable adventures that add up to a lament tor the disorder, grief and anxiety of peoÂple caught up in war. He meets a one-legged soldier who is terrified about returning home. Deliberately missing his train, Alyosha stays with the crippled man until he is reunited with his comforting wife. Hiding on a military train, he meets a homeless, wandering young woman. From their initially clumsy, mutually frightening encounter comes a tender attachment, which, unfortunately, can last only a few hours. After further dramatic events, Alyosha finally reaches his home, but the delays have left him time for just a short, poignant embrace with his mother, before he has to start back for the firm. Lyrical photography, brilliant editing, appealing performers, an intelligent script (nominated tor an Academy Award), and a beautiful musical theme make this a profoundly moving experience-and one of the finest cinematic statements about the physical, and emotional devastation of war. In Russian with English subtitles. Recommended. 87 minutes. Drama