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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Ballad of a Soldier

When I saw Ballad of a Soldier for the first time I was fifteen, and I felt in love for the girl. A love as innocent and as total as in the movie. I was tending to identify myself with the soldier, and I was seeing myself in the freight car, finding the girl there, behaving kindly, as he was doing, and finding in her eyes the same response.

Many years passed and I had the chance to see the movie again. I was now in my early sixties: no more identifying with the young heroes, still loving their love, following their innocence with a joy balanced by sadness. My empathy was naturally going now to the old mother, as I knew this time so well that there are losses that time never heals.

At an age when one falls in love, he went to die in war. He wasn't a larger than life hero, he was just an adolescent, and that's why it was so easy for me to enter his skin in my imagination; I was also an adolescent, I also was not larger than life, and I was also supposed to fall in love, as he did.

Grigori Chukhrai made this movie in 1959, three years after Сорок первый (another gem), and two years before Чистое Небо (a movie trying maybe to say too much, this time, but definitely with some unforgettable moments).

And let's mention here the names of the actors who played the two young innocent lovers: Vladimir Ivashov and Zhanna Prokhorenko.

(Grigori Chukhrai)



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