The Cranes are Flying and Ballad of a Soldier
by David Ng
Part grand entertainment, part love letter to the Motherland, the films of the post-Stalin "thaw" period of Soviet cinema (roughly 1956 to 1967) offer up a riptide of apolitical patriotism and big-sky romance. Two of the most famous films from that era, The Cranes are Flying and Ballad of a Soldier, are now available on DVD from the Criterion Collection.
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