Set during World War II’s darkest days, Larisa Shepitko’s The Ascent follows the path of two peasant soldiers, cut off from their troop, who trudge through the snowy backwoods of Belarus seeking refuge among villagers.
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How much more pretentious and kitsch can you get than a retelling of Jesus Christ set in WW2 where the Nazis swap the Romans? If this was made in Hollywood, it would have been laughed at, but because it's made in Mother Russia and sort of resembles a Tarkovky film, its been hailed as great. Seriously, people need to get over the so-called Russian Soul bullshit. The performances and small moments redeem it slightly.
One of the most powerful war films ever,yet only concerning the harrowing ordeal of two soldiers. The scene with the Russian Nazi investigator and the captured Sotnikov is acting at its most brilliant. Amazing cinematography.
Set in perhaps the bleakest wintry landscape in the history of cinema, this is a harrowing, haunting, and heart-wrenching exploration of war, impending death, and the meaning of conscience. Stunningly powerful and overwhelmingly intense experience--left me speechless.
An extraordinary film, in which any conventional, corporeal "war film" heroics are quickly discarded; what follows is a purely metaphysical exploration of cowardice, fear and guilt, as if the characters have died and are living in a purgatorial world, where the only possible salvation is that of their souls. Analogies to the tale of Christ and Judas abound, but its greatness is owed to peerless direction and acting.
It's pretty amazing how well put together this film is, in less than two hours Shepitko manages to tell a story so powerful and trascendental in its depiction of Soviet prisoners that it's almost hard to appreciate every aspect in a single view. Also this is where her husband Elem Klimov got the camerawork for Come and See.
like many filmmakers before and since, Shepitko, died far too soon. but with this amazing masterpiece of betrayal, horror and subtextual power. paralleled to the passion of jesus christ, she leaves behind a piece which is one of the best art films ever made. and plus she has one of the most vicious swipes at the Soviet regime ever committed to film.
A very seductive film. Hero porn works this way. Let us NOT praise heroes and martyrs. "[We] perpetuate war by exalting its sacrifices." "We shall never end wars by blaming it on ministers and generals or warmongering imperialists. It's the rest of us who build statues to those generals, and name boulevards after those ministers. The rest of us who make heroes of our dead and shrines of our battlefields."