Russian soldier Alyosha Skvortsov is granted a visit with his mother after he singlehandedly fends off two enemy tanks. As he journeys home, Alyosha encounters the devastation of his war-torn country, witnesses glimmers of hope among the people, and falls in love. With its poetic visual imagery, Grigori Chukhrai’s Ballad of a Soldier is an unconventional meditation on the effects of war, and a milestone in Russian cinema.—The Criterion Collection
Grigori Naumovich Chukhrai (Russian: Григорий Наумович Чухрай, Ukrainian: Григорiй Наумович Чухрай; 23 May 1921 – 29 October 2001) was a prominent Soviet film director and screenwriter. He is the father of director Pavel Chukhrai.
He was born in Melitopol in the Zaporizhia Oblast of Ukraine. A decorated veteran of World War II, Chukhrai’s wartime experiences profoundly affected him and the majority of his films were connected with events of the war.
At war’s end, he studied filmmaking at the Soviet State Film School and then developed his craft as a director’s assistant at the Kiev Film Studio. By the mid 1950s, he began writing and directing his own films, gaining cinematic recognition outside the Soviet Union at the 1957 Cannes Film Festival with his film Sorok pervyj (The Forty-first).
In 1959, Chukhrai co-wrote and directed his greatest work, Ballad of a Soldier. A story of love and the tragedy of war made without the usual Soviet propaganda, the film received… read more
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The title of the film “Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears” apparently doesn’t apply to “Ballad of a Soldier,” the tear-jerker. Sentimentality may have some place in cinema, but Ballad comes across as… read review