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Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky

USSR 1962 95 mins. In Russian, German

During World War II, young Ivan (Nikolay Burlyaev) scurries across Soviet and German lines, having been recruited as a spy by Russian forces. Via vivid dream and flashback sequences, the film grants us glimpses of what this orphaned child had before war rendered everything a cold, war torn landscape bereft of comfort. Tarkovsky’s first film wields its protagonist less as a specific child caught up in war than an emblematic figure whose experiences are indicative of all children whose lives are irreparably altered by conflicts in which they have no agency. Ivan’s Childhood is a powerful debut from a world master, one whose powers were readily apparent this early into his career. “Tarkovsky’s debut feature is surely the most lyrical war movie ever made.”—Geoffrey Macnab, The Independent. In Russian and German with English subtitles.