What is the impact of war on a child? Ukraine, WW2: after they have killed his entire family, 12-year-old Ivan is filled with hatred for the Germans and becomes a dedicated spy performing life-threatening espionage missions behind enemy lines.
Ivan's Childhood, Tarkovsky's first feature film, offers a – by Russian standards – singular view of the Second World War. Rather than a conformist Soviet war film full of heroism and bravery, this is a committed, personal testimony, with Ivan symbolizing all children who are victims of violence of war – an all too topical theme these days. It's a visually stunning film with an important role for the imagination of dreams. It was not to the taste of the Soviet authorities, which led to the film receiving virtually no attention and a very limited release in national theatres. In the West, it premiered at the Venice Film Festival, where it won the Golden Lion.
Fr Sept 20: Dutch
Thu Sept 26: English