DEMANTY NOCI (1964):
Démanty noci je český film natočený režisérem Janem Němcem v roce 1964. Snímek vypráví o dvou židovských chlapcích uprchlých z transportu do koncentračního tábora. Chlapci se snaží dostat domů, cesta je však nebezpečná. Film byl natočen podle námětu ze stejnojmenné knihy Arnošta Lustiga.
The film begins with two boys escaping from a train transporting prisoners of a concentration camp to, what is assumed to be, another camp. Little dialogue is employed in the film as the boys wander through unfamiliar terrain in the Sudetenland. Interwoven in the film are dreams, memories, hallucinations, fantasies and flashbacks. Eventually, the boys are captured by local Volksdeutsche and we are led to believe, that they will be executed by these old men. However, the film’s ending is ambiguous: either the boys are spared in a mock execution or they’re walking away into the afterlife.
IVAN’S CHILDHOOD (1962):
Действие фильма происходит во время Великой Отечественной войны. 12-летний Иван стал разведчиком. Война лишила мальчика матери, он одержим ненавистью к врагу и желанием мстить. Только сны возвращают Ивану отобранное у него детство. Однако до Дня Победы ещё далеко…
After a brief dream sequence, Ivan Bondarev, a 12-year-old Russian boy, wakes up and crosses a war-torn landscape to a swamp, then swims across a river. On the other side, he is seized by Russian soldiers and brought to the young Lieutenant Galtsev, who interrogates him. The boy insists that he call "Number 51 at Headquarters" and report his presence. Galtsev is reluctant, but when he eventually makes the call, he is told by Lieutenant-Colonel Gryaznov to give the boy pencil and paper to make his report, which will be given the highest priority, and to treat him well. Through a series of dream sequences and conversations between different characters, it is revealed that Ivan’s mother and sister (and probably his father, a border guard) have been killed by German soldiers. He got away and joined a group of partisans. Burning for revenge, Ivan insists on fighting on the front line. Taking advantage of his small size, he is successful on reconnaissance missions. Gryaznov and the other soldiers grow fond of him and want to send him to a military school. They give up their idea when Ivan tries to run away and rejoin the partisans. He is determined to avenge the death of his family and others, such as those killed at the Maly Trostenets extermination camp.
DVD-R is in Czech, German and Russian with switchable English subtitles. Approx. 154 mins. total. Excellent quality overall.