In Russia's darkest days during World War 2, young Russian soldier Alyosha (Ivashov) distinguishes himself in battle, and earns himself a six day furlough home to see his mother, whose roof needs repairing. But in this chaotic, war-torn nation, there is no guarantee Alyosha will reach her in time. Along the way, however, he will undergo a range of poignant, heart-rending experiences, including a brush with romance.
Why we love it
Chukhrai'sintimate, small masterpiece contains a wrenching hope for life and humanity in the figure of the innocent, Alyosha, even as he traverses a homeland under siege to see his beloved mother, perhaps for the last time. The director's stark yet lyrical camera work complement top-flight performances, notably Ivaslov in the central role and Zhanna Prokhorenko, adorable as love interest Shura. Don't miss that indelible ending sequence in this touching "Ballad."