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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:

Andrei Tarkovsky (as Andrey Tarkovskiy), Eduard Abalov (uncredited)

Writers:

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

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Nikolay Burlyaev ... Ivan Bondarev (as Kolya Burlyaev)
Valentin Zubkov ... Leonid Kholin (as V. Zubkov)
Evgeniy Zharikov ... Galtsev (as Ye. Zharikov)
Stepan Krylov ... Katasonov (as S. Krylov)
Nikolay Grinko ... Gryaznov (as N. Grinko)
Dmitri Milyutenko ... Old Man (as D. Milyutenko)
Valentina Malyavina ... Masha (as V. Malyavina)
Irina Tarkovskaya ... Ivan's Mother (as I. Tarkovskaya)
Andrey Konchalovskiy ... 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

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Soviet Union

Language:

Russian | German

Release Date:

27 June 1963 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ivan's Childhood See more »

Filming Locations:

Dnieper River, Kanev, Ukraine

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,537, 15 September 2002

Gross USA:

$22,168

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$55,099
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

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 »


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 andrabemSee 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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