|Genre: War, Drama, World War II, Spy, Military|
Plot: Visionary Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky’s first film, MY NAME IS IVAN, is a powerhouse of visual and emotional impact and a portend of many themes Tarkovsky would develop throughout his legendary career. Ivan (Nikolai Burlyayev) is a 12-year-old boy roaming the destroyed landscapes of World War II Russia along the German front. Between Ivan's ecstatic dreams of his missing family and his mud-and-blood-encrusted reality, the viewer learns that Ivan’s father, mother, and sister were killed by Germans and that since then he has gone into service as an intelligence scout for the Russian army.
Ivan’s shocking bloodthirsty hunger for revenge is juxtaposed with the innocence and earthbound lyricism of his dreams and memories, creating a portrait of a stolen childhood and a bleak future. Protected and loved by his makeshift family of stoic army officers, Ivan resists being taken out of the army and forces his way back into another scouting mission, putting himself directly in the line of fire. Tarkovsky underscores this wartime drama with a compelling poetic vision through the use of evocative black-and-white cinematography as well as stunning sound and production design. Each element plays a significant part in this brilliant film, based on Vladimir Bogomolov's novel IVAN.
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