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Ivan's Childhood (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]

4.5 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

The debut feature by the great Andrei Tarkovsky (Andrei Rublev), Ivan’s Childhood is a poetic journey through the shards and shadows of one boy’s war-ravaged youth. Moving back and forth between the traumatic realities of World War II and serene moments of family life before the conflict began, Tarkovsky’s film remains one of the most jarring and unforgettable depictions of the impact of war on children.

Special Features

  • High-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
  • Appreciation of filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky and Ivan’s Childhood featuring Vida T. Johnson, coauthor of The Films of Andrei Tarkovsky: A Visual Fugue
  • Interviews with cinematographer Vadim Yusov and actor Nikolai Burlyaev
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film scholar Dina Iordanova; “Between Two Films,” Tarkovsky’s essay on Ivan’s Childhood; and “Ivan’s Willow,” a poem by the director’s father, Arseny Tarkovsky

  • Product Details

    • Actors: Nikolay Burlyaev, Valentin Zubkov, Yevgeni Zharikov
    • Directors: Andrei Tarkovsky
    • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Black & White, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
    • Language: Russian
    • Subtitles: English
    • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
    • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
    • Number of discs: 1
    • Rated: Unrated
    • Studio: Criterion Collection
    • DVD Release Date: January 22, 2013
    • Run Time: 95 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: B009RWRIMA
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,669 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

    Customer Reviews

    Top Customer Reviews

    By Ermite on September 14, 2007
    Format: DVD Verified Purchase
    This is a DVD to own. "Ivan's Childhood" is Tarkovsky's first and arguably his most famous film. Based on Vladimir Bogomolov's early novella, "Ivan" (that is, "John") (1957), the film achieved wide acclaim outside Russia. It was produced at the risky time when Premier Khrushchev's era was ending and fundamentalist Marxists were ascendant again, restricting freedom in the arts; it is, as one observer wrote, "one of the harshest, morally complex versions of the war in Soviet film." It won the Golden Lion award at the Venice Film Festival. With this debut film, Tarkovsky established an international reputation that has influenced many other filmmakers.

    Except for this novella, Bogomolov is not widely known outside Russia. However, it was translated and anthologized widely around the world. Look for Bernard Isaac's translation into British English. It has the atmosphere of reality. It is punctuated it with references to real places, the Dnieper River, the town Gomel, where Ivan was born, and the Trostyanets death camp; even official Red Army and SS documents have an authentic flavor.

    The novella is told in the first person narrative of a Red Army lieutenant. Ivan is about 12 and a "scout", or reconnaissance spy, sneaking across the swampy Dnieper River into the night and behind German lines. The war made him an orphan and filled him with maddening hatred and desperation for revenge. He has been with partisans, in a death camp, and wounded by friendly fire returning from a mission one night. The soldiers are amazed he's been through so much.

    There is the pun, of course: Ivan's last name is Bondarev, Ivan Bondarev, that is, John Bond. In the story, it's an intelligence cover name.
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    4 Comments 23 of 24 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: DVD
    Exploring new techniques against an older framework, ivan's childhood may not have the same feel as other tarkovsky films but the stylistic innovation is still present especially in the dream sequences and in the interesting ways that water is photographed which would become a very prominent feature in his later movies as well..
    It is actually a very remarkable movie and one that the world took notice of (including ingmar bergman who was influenced a lot by this movie)..
    This is the work of a young director experimenting with a new cinematic technique.. The results are very interesting and Ivan's childhood remains a classic of 60's cinema..
    Comment 21 of 24 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: VHS Tape
    Here is what Tarkovsky said about the picture: I attempted to analyze the condition of a person who is being affected by war. When personality is disintegrating then we have the collapse of the logical development, especially when we are dealing with the personality of a child. I alsways conceptualized Ivan as a destroyed personality pushed by the war from the normal axis of development. A lot, more than a lot, everyhting that was appropriate to Ivan's age was gone from his life, and in its place he was bestowed with evil endowments of the destruction that concentrated within him and seized him. The film was based on a striking short story titled "Ivan" by an obscure Russian author named Bogomolov, who himself probably was in SMERSH, a Red Army field recon and counter- intelligence during the war as much dreaded as Stalin's NKVD. Tyhe way the way the story waas written, it was probably inspired by true life experiences. Ivan himself could have been invented, or it might have been based on a real life incident, as there were a number of adolescents and pre-adolescents executed by the Nazis and martyred by the communists after the war. The story provides a lot of details into the running of military intelligence agents, the trench warfare and the role of secret police in totalitarian police in teh Red Army during the war. The story takes place in the trenches and gives good detail of the machismo of the Red Army reconnaissance scouts. The story gives a good description of life in a politicized army in a totalitarian country familiar to most older Russians, but not in such detail. None of that background made it on celluloid. The book reads like a personal tragedy for the kid involved, a feeling lost when the story was transferred on film, which was more symbolic.Read more ›
    1 Comment 29 of 35 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: VHS Tape
    (is also in english after the spanish part)
    (ESPAÑOL) Mi nombre es Iván, también conocida como La Infancia de Iván, es la primera película de Andrei Tarkovski. Trata de un niño ruso de diez años que espía campos enemigos durante la Segunda Guerra Mundial.Iván ha perdido a su madre y ahora sólo busca dos cosas: venganza y alguien que se ocupe de él. Se ve muy valiente, pero cada noche puede ver su muerte más cercana. Para mí, que en Cuba he visto como los niños son educados en la defensa del comunismo, aprendiendo desde pequeños el funcionamiento de las armas de guerra, Iván representa el producto de un sistema. El drama no puede ser más poético y la fotografía en blanco y negro es grandiosa. En fin, La Infancia de Iván o Mi Nombre es Iván es una película excelente acerca de las víctimas de la guerra que mucha gente no conoce,pues no se entierran con honores. Sin embargo, esta obra es sólo el comienzo de la carrera de un gran director ruso que siempre tuvo el tema del conflicto entre los humanos presente en sus creaciones.
    (ENGLISH) "My Name is Ivan" (also called Ivan's Chilhood) is Andrei Tarkovski's first movie. It is about a russian ten years old kid who spies enemy fields during World War II. Ivan has lost his mother and looks for two things: revenge, and someone who takes care of him. He looks very brave, but every night he sees his death getting nearer. For me, who have been at Cuba and have seen the way children are educated in defending comunism, learnig since they're kids the working of weapons and tanks, Ivan represents the product of a system.
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    Comment 12 of 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Ivan's Childhood (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
    This item: Ivan's Childhood (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
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