SKU 206

BALLAD OF A SOLDIER (1959) + DESTINY OF A MAN (1959) *with switchable English subtitles *

Vladimir Ivashov, Zhanna Prokhorenko and Antonina Maksimova, Sergey Bondarchuk, Pavel Boriskin and Zinaida Kirienko

BALLAD OF A SOLDIER:  not primarily a war film, the movie recounts, within the context of the turmoil of war, various kinds of love: the romantic love of a young couple, the committed love of a married couple, and a mother's love of her child. The film tells the story of the young soldier Alyosha Skvortsov (Vladimir Ivashov) making his way through the countryside during a time when the Soviet Union seemed destined to fall to the powerful Nazi onslaught. Awarded a six-day leave pass for destroying two German tanks, Alyosha makes his way home to visit his mother and to repair the roof of her home. During his journey he encounters the devastation the war has brought on the country and meets a variety of people,  giving them hope by virtue of his likable and positive character. Riding in a freight train, he meets Shura (Zhanna Prokhorenko) and falls in love with her. Finally, he makes it home to his mother; but the reunion is bittersweet.   (88 mins.; Russian film with switchable English subtitles).

Made in the same year as "Ballad of a Soldier", this film concerns the fate of a Ukrainian man from the 1920s, when his whole family starved during the Civil War; through his capture and imprisonment in the Great Patriotic War by the Germans in a prisoner of war camp; while in a Nazi concentration camp and his life at War's end.  Discussing in open details subjects usually spurned or covered up by Soviet censors  (the betrayal of Communist and Jews by fellow prisoners; the singling out and extermination of prisoners of Jewish extraction --- usually referred to simply as "Soviet citizens" --- the mistreatment of Soviet prisoners by the Germans; etc.) this is both an entertaining and very informative film very rarely seen these days(94 mins.; very good quality.  Russian film with switchable English and Spanish subtitles).

DVD-R HAS A TOTAL TIME OF  169 minutes

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