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
The writers mentioned by Masha are Alexei Tolstoy (1882-1945; real name Aleksey Nikolayevich Tolstoy; son of Count Nikolay Alexandrovich Tolstoy) and Korney Chukovsky (1882-1969; real name Nikolay Vasilyevich Korneychukov). Tolstoy was a writer of science fiction and historical novels. Chukovsky was a writer of children's poetry and absurdist stories. He also translated English stories and poetry into Russian. See more »
In the famous "Well Scene" Ivan's mother says "If A well is too deep you can see a star in it even in the day time". While speaking she is standing on the left hand side of Ivan but when their reflection is shown in water she is standing on the right hand side. Lateral Inversion has not been depicted correctly. Please have a look. See more »
If a well is really deep, you can see a star down there even in the middle of a sunny day.
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Ne velyat Mashe
[Song played on the gramophone. English translation: "Masha is not allowed beyond the river".] See more »
The youth is out there
Tarkovsky's monochrome delight deals with the tragedy of youth lost in war. Its main theme is of childhood innocence lost (becoming accessible to Ivan only in dreams) however the young officers are also vastly aged by the conflict they find themselves in.
The backdrop is nature itself - woodpeckers and cuckoos emulate (or become replaced by) the sounds of machine gun fire and the hoots of the falling flares. It pervades most scenes: the seemingly endless channel of water between the opposing sides, the huge birch trees stretching out as high and as far as the eye can see while also providing bunkers for the Russian forces. But nature's power is continually challenged by the great war going on around it and is ultimately defiled and devastated (like Ivan's, and the other young officers' innocence) - turning from green grasslands to mud and ashen trees.
Reminded me of 'The Thin Red Line' in its use of the natural world war tries to ignore. The shots are honestly stunning. The leads are all fantastic. Enjoy the desolation.
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