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4,054 Ratings

Ivan's Childhood

Ivanovo detstvo

Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky
Soviet Union, 1962
Drama, War


Ivan’s Childhood, Andrei Tarkovsky’s debut feature, is a poetic journey through the shards and shadows of one boy’s war-torn youth. Shifting between the traumatic realities of WWII and serene moments of family life, the film is a jarring, unforgettable depiction of the impact of war on children.

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Ivan's Childhood Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky
Perhaps its unfair to gauge the film against others before and since, but Ivan’s Childhood has the rare ability to stop you in your tracks…. You watch a shot and think, ‘Wow, an immense amount of thought and planning has clearly gone into that shot.’ But Tarkovsky, not a man to rest on artistic laurels, repeats the formula again, creates another elaborate shot which forces the viewer to consider the form as equal to the content.
May 17, 2016
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One of the boldest, most indelible directorial debuts in the history of cinema… Though Mosfilm originally intended the film to be directed by Edward Gaikovich Abalyan, Tarkovsky makes it his own by imbuing it with fragments of his personal wartime experience. Indeed, the metaphysical forces prominently featured in his later work are already in play here.
March 11, 2016
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Tarkovsky’s attention to the vicissitudes of what he called “poetic logic” generates a beneficial tension between the reality of the film’s external events and the more equivocal inner life of its central character. This logic also endows the film’s surfeit of symbolically charged objects with an almost tactile dimensionality. As a result, a polyvalent sensuality invests the interspersed dream sequences with a powerful affective charge.
January 22, 2013
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