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Ivan's Childhood (1962)

Ivanovo detstvo (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, War | 27 June 1963 (USA)
In WW2, twelve year old Soviet orphan Ivan Bondarev works for the Soviet army as a scout behind the German lines and strikes a friendship with three sympathetic Soviet officers.

Directors:

(as Andrey Tarkovskiy), (uncredited)

Writers:

(story "Ivan") (as V. Bogomolov), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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2 wins. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Ivan Bondarev (as Kolya Burlyaev)
...
Leonid Kholin (as V. Zubkov)
Evgeniy Zharikov ...
Galtsev (as Ye. Zharikov)
Stepan Krylov ...
Katasonov (as S. Krylov)
...
Gryaznov (as N. Grinko)
...
Old Man (as D. Milyutenko)
Valentina Malyavina ...
Masha (as V. Malyavina)
Irina Tarkovskaya ...
Ivan's Mother (as I. Tarkovskaya)
...
Soldier with glasses (as A. Konchalovskiy)
Ivan Savkin ...
(as I. Savkin)
Vladimir Marenkov ...
(as V. Marenkov)
Vera Miturich ...
Girl
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Storyline

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 Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

GRAND PRIZE WINNER: 1962 Venice Film Festival, Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

27 June 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ivan's Childhood  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Trostanyets (spelling from the DVD subtitles), the camp mentioned by Ivan, is the Trostinets extermination camp. (Alternative spellings include Maly Trostinets, Maly Trastsianiets and Trascianec.) It was a World War II death camp located at Maly Trostinets ("Little Trostinets"), a village near the outskirts of Minsk. Operating between July 1942 and October 1943, nearly all Jews in Minsk were murdered there. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Ivan: Mamma, there's a cuckoo up there!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Life as a Dream (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Ne velyat Mashe
[Song played on the gramophone. English translation: "Masha is not allowed beyond the river".]
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Ivan, a shattered life
17 May 2007 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

"Childhood of Ivan" is not only about Ivan's life but it stands as a symbol for the many Russian lives shattered by the war. This is an elliptical film, that is, it doesn't reveal everything - it suggests.

"Childhood of Ivan" requires the use of your brain and imagination, but it is in no way a difficult film. Once you accept not understanding everything right now, just relax and follow the images and sounds and you are ready for the "Childhood of Ivan".

As I said before the film uses many ellipses to show Ivan's fractured life - he plays in the fields, his mother calls him and smiles; a water well, he stares down at the water and his mother stands beside him and tells a story about the stars; we hear a gun shot, someone lying on the grass; Ivan is wading through a swamp to reach a soviet army unit.

The war is not shown at all - it is suggested. We only see the enemy soldiers once for a brief moment. And two hanged men is all there is to denounce the carnage of the war. The rest is suggested by unfinished speeches, by faces where pain is followed right after by the desire to live and be happy......

Ivan's memories: His mother, his sister and their games, the beach, the sea and the rain, his captivity - his life, a broken life. Nothing remained for him in life but to fight - to fight against the enemy that had taken everything from him.

I repeat that "Childhood of Ivan" is not a partisan film, it doesn't try to demonize the adversaries. I would call it much more an intimist film, somewhat in the vein of "Les Jeux Interdits", but Ivan's childhood was over after the horrors he had to go through; his only way to survive as a human being was to fight the horror that had crippled his life, while the children of "Les Jeux Interdits" went on with their children games in spite of the war. France, because of her fast surrender, was preserved from the butchery inflicted on the Soviet Union.

I recommend this film to everyone who wants to see a paradoxically sad, beautiful, reflexive and passionate film.


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