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Subtle coloring and an impressionistic approach to landscape distinguish this patriotic animated short set to music. After a flourishing Soviet hamlet is destroyed by Nazi planes, the sole survivor is confronted by a hulking Nazi commando in a tank. The military man tries to cajole the young violinist into repeating a jaunty harmonica melody at gunpoint but the boy strikes up a noble song of resistance instead. THE PIONEER’S VIOLIN may romance the idea of martyrdom but it does so with a gravity not often found in similar films.

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