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Love and Loss in War-torn Russia. Grigori Chukhrai’s ‘Ballad of a Soldier’ is a Soviet Masterwork.

It begins with the evocative, ethereal depiction of a mother, standing solemnly in a billowing field, looking on, despondent. Like the visually arresting Soviet masterworks of Eisenstein, Pudovkin, and especially Dovzhenko — those carefully crafted pictorial proclamations with their prevailing sociopolitical underpinnings — Grigori Chukhrai’s