Ballad of a Soldier
Nominated for Oscar. Another 4 wins & 2 nominations
Year :1959 Country : Russia
Run time : 89 minutes ; Russian with English Sub titles.
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We are told at the outset that Alyosha is killed at the front, never to return to his mother, to Shura, or to anyone else again. Ballad of a Soldier's conclusion strikes a single, clear tone with one of the most poignant of wartime questions — what if? What if Alyosha, decent and honorable and deserving of a full life, had not died in the war? What could he, and by extension some 20 million Alyoshas, have become? What could this everyday hero have contributed if he'd been allowed to fulfill his promise? Ballad doesn't answer the question. Instead it tells us that Alyosha dies a "simple Russian soldier" (a citizen of a country, not an ideology) because he never had the time or opportunity to be anything else.
Technically rich yet possessing a refining simplicity, Ballad of a Soldier is a quietly powerful work that could have diminished into soapy melodrama or government-stamped rhetoric. Instead, director/co-writer Grigori Chukhrai delivered a personal ode, one indeed as emotive and straight-shooting as a ballad, to his own postwar generation. He did so with then-distinctive attention to varying responses war brings out in individual people, with moments of unmistakable (and now sweetly chaste) sexual heat, and without resorting to the clichés, stilted symbols, or pompous phraseology that did so much harm to Soviet cinema.
Grigori Naumovich Chukhrai (Russian: Григорий Наумович Чухрай; May 23, 1921--October 28, 2001) was a prominent film director and screenwriter in the former
He was born in Melitopol in the Zaporizhia Oblast of
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 great acclaim at home earning the prestigious Lenin Prize. It was heralded internationally for both its story and cinematic technique and at
Chukhrai's next film, released in 1961, was titled Chistoye nebo (Clear Skies) and told the story of a Soviet pilot who survived Nazi imprisonment during the war but was later accused of being a spy. In 1984, at age 63, Grigori Chukhrai directed his final film. He wrote a book of war memoirs and in 1994, for his lifetime contribution to film, Chukhrai was given a Nika Award, the Russian film industry's equivalent of an Oscar.
Grigori Chukhrai died of heart failure in