Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
Original title: Ballada O Soldate
Despite a few moments that over strain their desire to jerk tears out of you, this is a heartfelt film that packs more than a few emotional punches. A Russian World War II soldier scores a double header when he takes out two tanks in a freak act of bravery and is awarded with a decoration. Rather than accept it from his commanding officer, he insists that he would rather be given leave to go to his village and see his mother for a few days. The journey home ends up being fraught with distractions, diversions and even a few dangers, giving the soldier a close-up view of the war-scarred landscape of his nation, gradually eroding his naive existence. Magnificently shot, with a smooth, even pace and solid performances from the entire ensemble cast.
Directed by Grigoriy Chukhray
Screenplay by Grigoriy Chukhray, Valentin Ezhov
Produced by M. Chenova
Music by Mikhail Ziv
Production Design by Boris Nemechek
Costume Design by Lyudmila Ryashentseva
Film Editing by Mariya Timofeeva