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Soviet filmmaker dies

MOSCOW, Russia -- A soviet-era filmmaker, best known for his World War II movies, has died aged 80.

Ukrainian-born Grigory Chukhrai, who had suffered several heart attacks, died on Sunday at a Moscow hospital, the Union of Cinematographers said.

Chukhrai found fame with his 1959 film "Ballad of a Soldier," which played all over the world and is considered one of the best-ever Soviet war films.

Chukhrai, who was wounded four times as a WWII paratrooper and who took part in the battle of Stalingrad, once said all his war films were based on personal experiences

He said: "War most clearly reveals people's characters and deeds."

Chukhrai's other films include "The Forty-First" (1956), "Clear Sky" (1959), "Life is Beautiful" (1980) and "I'll Teach You to Dream" (1984). He also wrote a book of war memoirs.

He studied at the Moscow Cinema Institute under the Soviet film master Mikhail Romm.

Chukhrai, who was awarded the highest Soviet artistic title of Popular Artist of USSR, will be buried Wednesday in Moscow after a memorial gathering.

He is survived by a son, also a filmmaker.



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