The story of a man (Andrey Sokolov) whose life was ruthlessly crippled by World War II. His wife and daughters were killed during the bombing of his village, he spent some time as a ... See full summary »
In the Nineteenth Century, at the seaside resort of Yalta, the upper class Dimitri Gurov from Moscow meets Anna Sergeyovna walking with her little dog. Both have unhappy marriages: Dimitri ... See full summary »
A soldier of the Red Army named Sukhov has been fighting in the Russian Civil War in Russian Asia for many years. Just as he is about to return home to his wife, Sukhov is chosen to guard ... See full summary »
During World War II, Georgy Makharashvili, an old peasant wine-grower, leaves his Georgian village and goes off to the front lines to find his son, a wounded soldier. But before the father ... See full summary »
Stunning WWII flying sequences as the Soviet Air Force battles the Luftwaffe. Veteran Russian pilots teach their new recruits about life, death & love. When the older men fly into battle, ... See full summary »
This film is based on the book about Vasili Ivanovich Chapaev (1887 - 1919) who was in real life the Commander of the 25th Division of the Red Army. Chapaev is an uneducated peasant and a ... See full summary »
Chukhrai's visual wonder -- love and dreams doomed by war
Quite a filmmaker this Chukhrai was. Not much available from him, but I am happy to have seen two of his movies. "The Forty-first" perhaps wasn't as great as the wonderful "Ballad of a Soldier", but this is still quite an interesting film. Both of these films are war films, but contrary to what one might expect these films are told in a rather romantic, light-hearted, Hollywood style. Both films do have tragic elements which present themselves as the films progress, but they are largely rather light and enjoyable, even charming romance pictures of loved ones being torn apart and doomed by war. This story was started here with "The Forty-first" and would be perfected in "Ballad of a Soldier".
The script isn't particularly strong here, but where this film really stands out is in its visuals. An utterly stunning visual work from Chukhrai. I'm not sure I have seen a color film look like this one before! You have to see it to understand. Additionally, it's just constantly a visually dynamic film in Chukhrai's camera-movement and use of close-ups. The film is at the very least continually visually interesting and at its peak just stunning to look at. There's a really rich, dreamy atmosphere that develops by the end of the movie, and it makes for a quite unique viewing experience.
The ending is both quite outlandish but also tragic. Not too sure what to completely make of it. Then again, this was never a film which really strived for any kind of realism, so its over the top nature isn't too jarring with the rest. Actually, the more I think about it, the more I like it.
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