During World War II, 12-year old Ivan works as a spy on the eastern front. The small Ivan can cross the German lines unnoticed to collect information. Three Soviet officers try to take care... See full summary »
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During World War II, 12-year old Ivan works as a spy on the eastern front. The small Ivan can cross the German lines unnoticed to collect information. Three Soviet officers try to take care of this boy-child. Written by
A superb film, by turns lyrical, harsh and tense, with a deep sympathy for ordinary people caught up in inexplicable events overwhelming their lives. The uneasy state of the Russian army, facing the German front across wetlands, is reflected in the characters - the boy and the men are getting 'jittery' - and the destruction waged on the landscape reflects the damage done to the people themselves: the old man with his cockerel and, especially, Ivan, who slips between the dreams of sleep and the nightmare of living. Nature and innocence are linked, and the scene in the birch forest is especially effective. A life-enhancing film, both poetic and poignant.
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