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Ivan's Childhood (The Criterion Collection) (1963)

Andrei Tarkovsky  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Directors: Andrei Tarkovsky
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English, German, Russian
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Criterion
  • DVD Release Date: July 24, 2007
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000PKG6OO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #69,927 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Ivan's Childhood (The Criterion Collection)" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

The debut feature from the great Andrei Tarkovsky, Ivan’s Childhood is an evocative, poetic journey through the shadows and shards of one boy’s war-torn youth. Moving back and forth between the traumatic realities of WWII and the 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 violence on children in wartime.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Death Wish September 14, 2007
By Ermite
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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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tarkovsky's very interesting debut feature.. July 27, 2007
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..
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
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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27 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ivan's File June 23, 2001
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 ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Discovered Tarkovsky in this gem
I discovered the brilliance of Tarkovsky in watching this film. Marvelous cinematography, great cast, iconic director. Interesting Extras as well.
Published 6 days ago by Greg Reyna
5.0 out of 5 stars Tarkovsky's superbly accomplished qualifying examination
Andrey Tarkovsky is for me alongside Robert Bresson the greatest film director the world has ever seen. Read more
Published 9 days ago by Film Buff
4.0 out of 5 stars You can't go wrong with Criterion
Once again Criterion has knocked it out of the park. This is a wonderful film, with great imagery, and the picture is crisp and everything that you've come to expect from a... Read more
Published 2 months ago by J. Iblings
2.0 out of 5 stars First time feature director's dazzling visual competency subsumed by...
*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.0

'Ivan's Childhood' is also known as 'My Name is Ivan' in the United States. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Turfseer
5.0 out of 5 stars A childhood unparalled
Starkly beautiful and moving, "Ivan's Childhood" displays the poignancy, penetration and poetry Tarkovsky is known for (especially of the oneiric style of juxtaposing the... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Benin Trotter
5.0 out of 5 stars Tense Thriller from Tarkovsky
Director Andrei Tarkovsky is well known for his visually sumptuous and deeply philosophical movies. But one perceived drawback of the bulk of these films for the casual viewer is... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Sursubbu
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!
Love love love! Bought it for my husband and he just loves the movies. It came it amazing shape (maybe it was new I can't remember) and it came fast. Movie is wonderful.
Published 15 months ago by Bbbrittnee
4.0 out of 5 stars Tarkovsky's first feature film is a memorable one, but immature...
IVAN'S CHILDHOOD, released in 1962, was Soviet director's Andrei Tarkovsky first feature film. An adaptation of a short story by Vladimir Bogomolov set in World War II, its... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Christopher Culver
2.0 out of 5 stars Confusing
Boring, too long, and confusing characters. Maybe I'll watch it again to see if I am wrong in my summation.

Judi Seidel
Published 18 months ago by Boo Boo
5.0 out of 5 stars There are not many filmmakers who are able to hit a grand slam for...
For every filmmaker, there is the debut of that first film.

There are people and film critics that would say that the first film shows hints of what a filmmaker could... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Dennis A. Amith (kndy)
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