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Ivan's Childhood





1962
Directed By Andrei Tarkovsky 
Starring  Nikolay Burlyaev, Valentin Zubkov and Evgeniy Zharikov |


It's the middle of WWII in Russia. Orphaned pre-teen Ivan Bondarev does reconnaissance work for the military. He is able to get through small cracks where adults could not, both because of his small physical size and the fact that no one would suspect a boy of doing such work. Despite his tough exterior, he often dreams about happy situations with his mother, who, along with his sister, was exterminated in a concentration camp. Those dreams usually end violently. After Ivan obtains some information concerning an advancing German troop, his commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Gryaznov, wants to send him to military school as he believes the offensive is no place for a boy. Ivan vows to run away and join the partisans in their work if he is sent away. After an attempt to run away, Ivan is allowed to stay and continue his reconnaissance work during the offensive. Ivan's stay is not the only one questioned, but also Masha's, a female medical officer who some believe is not mentally or physically strong enough to endure the horrors of the front lines of war, while others romantically yearn for her. Regardless, Ivan's colleagues and superiors, many who view him as a son, openly ponder his life post-war, that is if he and they make it out alive.

This is one of those films that could sit on your shelf for a year before you get around to watching it. You've undoubtedly heard that this is a great film but the task of watching seems like well, a task. So you put off your homework and drop out of the class and forget why you signed up for it in the first place. If its because you want to see one of the most impressive frist time features since Citizen Kane, then remember that at some point you wanted to experience great films. You knew that going to the movies could be more than whatever Marvel film we are up to know. You knew this and you wanted to expand your cinematic mind. So take it off the shelf and watch it. Just as your body cannot sustain itself for very long or at the very least very effectively on a steady diet of sugar your mind also needs nourishment.  Asparagus can be plenty tasty its just not as sexy as Coco-Crispies. Yes, in my 37 year old mind Coco-Crispies is a sexy food.

Without further interruption here is some asparagus for your mind.

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