Synopsis by Hal Erickson
"Courage under fire" was the theme of many wartime Soviet films, and Once There was a Girl is no exception. Actually, there are two girls essential to the action, Nastenka (Nina Ivanova) and Katia (Natasha Zashchipina). Barely out of the toddler stage, the two heroines are forced to endure the deprivations brought about by the long Nazi siege of Leningrad. Miraculously, Nastenka and Katia manage to survive, and even to participate in the celebration attending their city's liberation. The boundless energy and ebullience of the two tiny stars (aged 9 and 5 respectively) makes Once There was a Girl an uplifting experience, despite the grimness of the subject matter.
war, atrocity, child, close-encounter, death, encounter, girl, invasion, Nazism, plight, prison, Russia, turmoil