See This - Come and See


Aleksei Kravchenko in Come and See

Aleksei Kravchenko in Come and See

 

 

 

Best Of lists are designed to infuriate, obviously, to provoke debate. But even so, it seems beyond the realms of the credible that Elem Klimov’s Come and See only made it to number 71 when UK television’s Channel 4 ran a Best War Movies Ever poll a few years ago, while Ridley Scott’s fart in a biscuit tin, Black Hawk Down, sat happy at number 9. The 1985 Russian film is the best film about the Russian experience of the Second World War, one of a handful of real contenders for the best war film ever made. Following a tender 14-year-old (Aleksei Kravchenko) as he is first pressganged into joining a ragtag militia fighting the ruthless Nazis in Byelorussia, it follows a similar arc to Apocalypse Now – a journey into a heart of darkness, through scenes of increasing horror. But whereas Coppola’s film builds towards a Technicolor, operatic, hallucinogenic finale, with Klimov a more realistic end is the goal. In Come and See the dirt is not applied with a make-up artist’s brush and the bullets whistling by the terrified youngster’s head are often real. I remember seeing this shortly after it came out and coming out of the cinema filled with a mixture of shock and awe, to borrow a phrase from a later conflict. Klimov died in 2003 and never made another film, declaring that he’d “lost interest” in film-making. Could he, in any case, have topped this masterpiece?

© Steve Morrissey 2007

 

Come and See – at Amazon

 

 

 

 

imdb poster Come and See
Come and See (1985)
Run time: 140 min
Rating: 8.1
Genres: Drama | History | War
Director: Elem Klimov
Writers: Ales Adamovich, Ales Adamovich
Stars: Aleksey Kravchenko, Olga Mironova, Liubomiras Lauciavicius
Trivia: After finding an old rifle, a young boy joins the Soviet Army and experiences the horrors of World War II.
Storyline During WWII, a Belorussian boy is thrust into the atrocities of war, fighting with a hopelessly unequipped Soviet resistance movement against ruthless German forces. Witnessing scenes of abject terror and surviving horrifying situations, he loses his innocence and then his mind. Written by TheDistantPanic
Plot Keywords: boy, rifle, atrocity, photograph, extermination