BALLAD OF A SOLDIER (Grigori Chukhrai, 1959)

Grigori Chukhrai’s Ballada o soldate, about a soldier who we know from the outset was killed in the Second World War, embodies the Russian soul.      In 1942, as the Germans impel Soviet retreat, Alyosha Skvortsov (Vladimir Ivashov, sensitive and appealing) is nineteen years old. In a panic he manages to knock out two enemy tanks […]

BROTHERS (Susanne Bier, 2004)

There are two things I like about Brødre: it shows the devastating impact on himself and family when a war captive returns home; Ulrich Thomsen’s excellent performance as this Danish Army officer, Michael Lundberg. Nearly everything else about Susanne Bier’s film is ridiculous.      At the beginning, before going to Afghanistan on a peacekeeping mission, Michael […]