Funny you should ask that. A Russian film fest has just ended in Bucharest and I've just seen two films that match your request:
Ivan's Childhood is one of Andrei Tarkovsky's early films. It's a lot less pretentious* than some of his later stuff and it is rather good, with some bits that are bound to stay with you after you watch it. It's very sad at the core and obviously anti-war, but doesn't bombard you with 'messages' or with melodramatic moments. Out of everything that I've seen at the fest, it was my favorite and perhaps the only genuinely capital G Good film.
The Cranes Are Flying is only slightly older, but significantly more dated technically, without being completely bad, though. It's certainly an interesting look at how the Soviets perceived or wanted to perceive their recent history. It was made in 1960 and shocked the Russian people at the time by not having any strong propaganda included (it still shows their country in a very positive light, doh, but doesn't glorify or even mention Stalin & co).
* I don't dislike pretentious films myself, Hell, I even hold Hiroshima Mon Amour in high regard; but I know that many people do hate pretentiousness and I don't want you to be put off from Ivan's Childhood just because you fell asleep during Stalker**
** who didn't?
#6680859, By marilena Rate the last film you watched out of 100
marilena 8,205 posts
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