Director Elem Klimov's drama shows the atrocities of World War II through Soviet eyes. When 13-year-old commoner Florya joins a group of partisans fighting the Nazis in Belorus, he doesn't suspect that he is plunging through the looking glass. Separated from his comrades during a paratroop attack and struck deaf by artillery, Florya wanders a battle-scorched Russian purgatory of forests and man-made slaughter.

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