One of the greatest films about chaos and senseless madness ever made. "Come and See" is like if Goya and Bacon teamed-up to paint a portrait of war, but used a frozen axe instead of a brush, and blood instead of paint. Rarely have I seen a sequence as distressing as the burning of the church, when the boy looks with despair at the ashes of his innocence.
A sloppy melodrama rife with heavy-handed surrealist symbolism. People have overemphasized the depictions of Nazi cruelty, as they only take up about half an hour of time. This is more of a 'loss of childhood innocence' film which happens to take place in the extreme circumstances of the Ostfront.
War films tend to be more of the same if you swap a country and some heroes here and there, but this was something else. The sound work is amazing and brings you as close as possible to the incoming mental collapse of the young boy. Final minutes of propaganda aside, it really had some striking scenes and details that stuck with me weeks after watching it, either for their beauty or the horror they portrayed.
War, madness, death, hell, absolute horror. Multimunitions, village burning, rapes, effectiveness & cruelty at its paroxysm in Belarus by Nazi Germany. Hallucinating & hard to sustain. ==== La guerre, la folie, la mort, l'enfer, l'horreur absolue. Multimunitions, centaines de villages brûlés, viols, l'efficacité au paroxysme de la cruauté en Biélorussie par l'Allemagne nazie. Hallucinant & difficilement soutenable.
War's horror portrayed with an agonizing build-up, where nature, childhood, love are gradually transformed into a hellishly surreal experience, authentically corroborated by WWII footage. Not only Klimov presents war in unmatched aesthetic splendor, he also subsumes this, contra the war film genre, to a genuinely moral (Brechtean) message: History 'undone' through a brilliant reversal of baby Hitler with Florya.
A masterpiece of cinema which captures the bizarre spirit of war perfectly by mixing in subtle absurdity with brutal realism, all the while maintaining a balance between art and adventure. Disturbing and traumatizing, and aesthetically superior, presenting beautiful raw photography with minimal music that seems somehow to cross the fourth wall. This is an exceptional piece of work.
An absolute masterpiece. At once the most horrifying and humanistic film I've ever seen. Not only Elem Klimov's opus magnum, but certainly one of the best films to ever be made in the USSR. In my opinion, one of the greatest reflections on the theme of war, not only in cinema, but in any medium.
It's fitting that the title comes from the Book of Revelations, because Come and See looks like a door to hell has been flung open: a surreal nightmare where all moral stability has evaporated into chaos—even simple tracking shots through mud and forests can make you question your sanity. This is a devastating film, uniting us always with its hero's shellshocked gaze. His inner and outer journeys leave you shattered.