Tarkovsky's first film is the story of a young boy whose childhood is cut short by the Second World War. His family destroyed, he focuses on revenge and becomes an army scout. The boy is "adopted" by two officers, with whom he finds companionship and some warmth between assignments, but his main solace is his dream-memory world, through which he returns to a time of abandon. Tarkovsky moves from terrifying realism to lyrical impressionism, revealing his mastery at incorporating surrealist elements into his filmic universe. Ivan's Childhood is a Tarkovsky masterpiece.