1951-1960DramaGrigoriy ChukhrayRomanceUSSR

Grigoriy Chukhray – Ballada o soldate AKA Ballad of a Soldier (1959) (HD)

***One of the best 150 films I have ever seen.***

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 Skvortsov. As a reward for his heroic act, the Comrade General offers him a medal of honor. However, he rejects the medal and asks for a few days leave so he can visit his mother after receiving a letter from her, so he can fix the leaking roof of their home. While traveling on the train eastwards he meets a beautiful young teenager named Shura who is on her way to her aunt, and later on, they fall in love. The film received an Academy Award nomination for Best Writing, Story and Screenplay – Written Directly for the Screen in 1962, an award that lost against Splendor in the Grass (1961) and that should have lost against Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita (1960). It was also nominated for the Golden Palm in the Cannes Film Festival in 1960 which lost against Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita (1960).
Every single aspect of Ballada o Soldate is adequately taken care of. The cinematography department did the most outstanding and meaningful work for the film, which highly helped to contrast the horrors of war reflected in a young soldier with the beauty of life itself. The film lacks of audacious and dazzling camera movement, and relies on the fact that images can speak for themselves, even when they are standing still, just like an expertly photographed image. The script written by Grigori Chukhrai and Valentin Ezhov is excellent, since it does not only succeeds at creating a charming pace for the film, but also tries to tell several different short stories that add a lot of catastrophic atmosphere to the film, while Alyosha meets various characters with distinct funny anecdotes and heartbreaking personal tragedies, representing the Soviet society as a whole, a whole that has just started to enter into its downfall. The performances were extraordinary. While Vladimir Ivashov portrayed a very complete and inspiring character, Antonina Maksimova, who played the mother of Alyusha, unconsciously performed the broken heart of the entire nation that was involved in an inevitable historical sequence of events: World War II. Zhanna Prokhorenko was a right choice for the role of Shura, not only because of its great acting talent, but also because of her shocking and natural European beauty, an element that is not treated as a cinema stereotype.
In a cinematic world of patriotism and action-oriented war films, Ballada o Soldate awarded those courageous living and deceased persons who gave their lives in the front for their countries. It was also one of the most convincing and heartwarming social commentaries expressing that the worst enemy against any soldier is not the opposite side, like the Germans in this case, who are normally the bad guys in most of the World War II films that are made, but war itself.
(Edgar C., letterboxd)

8.07GB | 1h 27m | 1480×1080 | mkv



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to top button