The Russian front in World War 2; shell-shocked Ivan is playing a dangerous game as a scout for the Soviet army behind German lines. While his comrades try to protect him they also know that only Ivan can play his vital role. No one meditates on man’s fate or paints a stark landscape quite like Tarkovsky, his cinematic eye is immediately apparent as he reveals the painful squalor of war while never losing his sense of the poetry of life too.
“Unmissable.” Peter Bradshaw, Guardian
“Remains one of the most remarkable debuts in all of cinema, and one of the most indelible portraits of war and childhood ever made.” From The Front Row
Winner Golden Lion Venice Film Festival 1962