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Ballad of a Soldier (Ballada o soldate) - Criterion Collection [Import USA Zone 1]

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Nominated at the 1962 Academy Awards for Best Screenplay, this Russian classic won many international film awards on its release, most notably a BAFTA Award for Best Film. The perfect companion to The Cranes Are Flying, the storyline highlights the effects of war on individuals as well as that of a nation being dragged to its knees. In the middle of WW2, Aloysha (Vladimir Ivashov) is commended for destroying two German tanks. Rather than take a medal, he requests a four-day pass to visit his mother. The film is about this journey and the life enhancing encounters therein. --Ce texte fait référence à une édition épuisée ou non disponible de ce titre.

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Amazon.com: 49 commentaires
64 internautes sur 67 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A Russian Classic 20 novembre 2000
Par Chapulina R - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Cassette vidéo
Alesha, the protagonist of this classic Russian film, is a good-hearted peasant boy fighting for his family and homeland. When he becomes an accidental hero, he is rewarded by leavetime, which he hopes to spend at his mother's home in a distant village. On his train journey through the wartorn Soviet countryside, he meets and falls in love with a young woman. Through a series of misadventures and delays, Alesha arrives home with little time to visit with his mother. Duty calls, and he must return to the front. This movie is both touching and tragic, and is beloved by Russian people, too many of whom lost sons, daughters, spouses and sweethearts during the Great Patriotic War. How many mothers, like Alesha's, waited and watched toward the west for a soldier who never returned? "Ballad of a Soldier" is a tribute to those lost loved ones who remain in their survivor's memories forever youthful, handsome, innocent, and noble. To deny Soviet citizens this human emotion by relegating the film to mere "propaganda" is cynical and saddening.
45 internautes sur 46 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
My all-time favorite movie. 24 juillet 1999
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Cassette vidéo
Movies don't get any better than this one. A young Russian soldier (Alyosha) almost accidentally becomes a hero. To reward him, the General gives him a 4 day leave so he go home to repair his mother's roof before rainy season. The movie is about his eventful trip home. You see the horrors of war in the people Alyosha meets on his trip home. The war itself is never far away-you can hear the steady roar of cannon throughout.
This is also one of the most beautiful love stories you will ever see. One of the people he meets on his trip home is a beautiful young girl named Shura. The scene on the train with the vast birch forest passing by in the background is the single most beautiful love scene ever filmed. No nudity, no sex. You long for the two to kiss to consumate their love.
This is not so much an anti-war film as a film about the great human tragedy that results from war. (I'm not sure, but I think there is a difference.) Be sure to get the sub-titled version of the movie. I've seen both dubbed and sub-titled and the sub-titled is far superior.
I can't recommend this movie high enough. This, along with Fiddler on the Roof and The Wind and the Lion, are my all-time favorites and I wouldn't want to try to pick a favorite amongst the three. But if I did, I think Ballad of a Soldier would get the nod.
By the way, you WILL cry! I remember seeing it at a movie theater in Cambridge Mass. in the mid-seventies. Several people leaving at the end of the movie were visibly crying while proclaiming that they never cry at movies.
Mike Porter
39 internautes sur 40 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Whatever Will Happen... 26 novembre 2000
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Cassette vidéo
The bottom line of this underrated masterpiece (well received upon its initial release in the 50s to be later dismissed as "Soviet propaganda" by a western public who often confounded cynism with truth) is that sometimes you've just to do your duty whatever the circumstances, but this doesn't means you'll lose your soul. It's the difference between blind obedience and conscious duty - something that today is often difficult to tell apart. The story is simple. Aliosha, a young Red Army "frontnik" almost by chance saves the life of many of his comrades. As award, he's granted a 4 day leave so he can get to see his mother back home - incidentally, this was the only way a Red Army's soldier could hope to get ANY kind of leave! During the trip he meet a young girl, and the two fall in love. But time is running out, and the war is never too far away. Aliosha will finally get to see his mother, but with little time left to stay with her. The final scene is heartbreaking (and I'm not someone who get really emotional when seeing a movie), even if you aren't aware that, with a mean frontline life expectancy of little more than two weeks, chances that Aliosha will see his mother again are pretty slim. This is a simple, effective demonstration of the cinematic power of a linear and powerful story. Very good cinematography, great perfomances and a solid editing make this a winner even for today's audiences. If you want to know what's like to be in a war where (at least!) twenty millions of your compatriots have been killed, your country ravaged and the very existence of your culture put in danger, watch this movie.
28 internautes sur 29 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Masterpiece 17 avril 2003
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: DVD
As time goes on, I keep returning to films that exquisitely portray the human condition: films like "The Bicycle Thief," "Forbidden Games," "The Official Story," "Boy," and "Ballad of a Soldier," to name a few. When I first saw "Ballad of a Soldier," I also had under my belt many of the masterpieces of the new wave films from Europe and Asia in the 50s and early 60s. This brilliant film and "The Cranes Are Flying" put another face on the Cold War for me.
Most in the West think the United States and allies "won" WWII. Nothing could be further from the truth. Germany invaded Russia on June 22, 1941, and proceeded to destroy their country and over 28 million Russian citizens and soldiers. The battles on the Eastern Front were of such breadth and scope that no comparison is possible in history. For example, in the famous 1943 battle of Kursk (remember the Russian sub?), up to 6,000 total tanks battled over a 200-mile front that resulted in a million deaths. This adventure took about 10 days. Stalingrad alone was the beginning of the end for the Germans, resulting in 160,000 dead and 500,000 taken prisoner. The savagery there was literally unspeakable and horrible, and the losses by the Russians were horrendous. Behind the Russians was the butcher Stalin, and in front of them were the Germans, yet in spite of these evils, the Russian people rose up with an incredible sense of protecting their motherland. When the war in the East was over in 1945, the Red Army had destroyed, disabled, or captured 607 German and Axis divisions; Americans and allies, from Africa to Berlin, destroyed a total of 167 enemy divisions. Their total deaths numbered around 8 million. Total American deaths in Europe numbered around 300,000.
I mention these facts to belie the notion that most reviewers seem apologetic that this film contained " soviet propaganda," as if that were a discrediting thing. From the Russian point of view, they won the war, and the numbers easily prove it. The Americans invaded Western Europe and courageously fought into Germany. But, without their airpower and bombing of German civilians into the Stone Age, or without the decimation caused by the Russians of 2/3s of German ground forces, D-Day would have been a disaster.
This is the background for this film, and its utter faithfulness to any Russian's basic sense of themselves, their country, and their culture rings true throughout. Not to be missed!
29 internautes sur 33 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Wonderful movie 14 juillet 2000
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Cassette vidéo
This story, taking place in the times of WWII raging in Russia, is a wonderful romantic story of a young soldier awarded short leave to go home. On his eventful trip home he meets different people and falls in love with a young girl. It depicts true characters, true, innocent feelings of two young people falling in love in the war-torn country. I have the right to say this because my knowledge is based not on propaganda wars, but because I know my grandparents and I know what they fought for. A paradox of the soviet times (Stalin times, in this case) is that in order to fight and defeat probably the most inhuman, fiercest enemy in the history of mankind the Russian Soldier had to free his soul of all the ideological buildup. The nation was facing elimination. Stalin, communism were not relevant anymore - you cannot win with this luggage. In those circumstances a soldier could win only if he was fighting for true values. The Russian soldier fought for his country, his home, being devastated and destroyed, for his love, for his dear and beloved ones who were being killed by the Nazis. This war has always been referred to as Great Patriotic, Sacred War among Russian people, not WWII. My grandfathers fought for my grandmothers, for my mother and father, for my land, my country, my childhood, - fought and drove the Nazi animals back into their hole. I am proud of my grandparents who, despite all the horrors they had to live through, found unbelievable strength, courage, and spirit to save kindness and the light of love in their hearts, pass it to my mother and father to give me a happy childhood.
I wouldn't have started writing this review if some of the remarks, being rather marginal to offensive statements than simply an ignorant, blatant lie, hadn't made me sick. And if it did not concern my grandparents. One of the results of the Cold-War-time propaganda - some people now deny the very natural human feelings and impulses in people of Russia and declare them a lie, should they seem to be beautiful. "...emotions you're feeling aren't genuine - they're delivered, from Russia, without love" - a rather fascistic remark than just ignorant. Complaints about bad transportation and 'delays with the service' in the war-worn country are merely stupid. "There he meets a girl (Shura), whom, if circumstances were different, he might persue. But this is the Soviet Union, and many dreams could never be realized for that very reason." The iterpretation of the story is amazing. The passage makes me wonder whose propaganda was more successful in rolling minds into a plain board. This dream did not come true because of the war, not because "this is the Soviet Union". If this movie can be considered a propagandistic work at all, then only the anti-war kind of it.
This movie is a small tribute of gratitude to and respect for the memory of the generation of my grandparents. It is delivered from Russia. With True Love. Depicting True Feelings of True Characters.
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