Movie For the Evening: Feature
“Ballad of a Soldier”
Admiration for Russian films required little effort and “Ballad of a Soldier” confirms that to a conviction. There is a lot of humanity in this well structured, beautifully filmed recount of a 19 year old soldier’s 6 day pass that allowed him to experience his youth by loving and being loved. This is a movie around a journey that life in the era of WWII Russia is a struggle to live fully. War is all around after Germany invaded Russia in June, 1941 and much of this movie depicts the ravage and dislocation of the citizens.
Pvt. Alyosha Skvortsov, played flawlessly by Volodya Ivashov, is a bold soldier who faces down a tank during a German attack at the front. As reward for his bravery he requests leave to repair his mother’s roof. This is the journey.
The lucky lad is hiding on a transport train when beautiful Shura, played by Zhanna Prokhorenko, enters his life as another stowaway. Their relationship, though predictable, is also believable. They are Russian youths who may never see one another again but stubbornly form an honest, loving bond.
That life goes on under the most stained circumstances come through quite clearly; the human spirit will persevere.