Grigorii Chukhrai: Ballad of a Soldier (1959)

Description: The bitter humor and emotional power of the film are captured in this clip. As a reward for battlefield heroism, the simple boy Alyosha is allowed to visit his home village for a week. The journey, prolonged by the many kindnesses he performs, last so long that he has only a moment to spend with his mother before he begins the return trip. Her grief when she discovers that she can only hug him briefly is compounded by the epilogue that follows, in which we discover that Alyosha is killed in battle before he can ever see her again.

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