A mesmerizing, intense, and physically driven piece of war cinema with an atmospheric soundtrack just as harsh as the unrelenting landscape the characters suffer through. People often compare this film to the work of Tarkovsky, while there are similarities, I would say it's more of a precursor to the work of Béla Tarr with how Shepitko utilizes a more contemplative approach to capture austere and bleak imagery.
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."
Movies like The Ascent are why I subscribe to Mubi and Filmstruck. I'd never heard of the film, the director or any of the actors. But, I couldn't take my eyes off this movie. It's both searing and sublime, beautiful and ugly. In short, a rare cinematic accomplishment.
One of the most five qualified film i've ever seen. Like a hidden treasure. Most important aspect of this film is being filmed by a woman director. The film reflects the feeling about the human, death and war. Those who love cinema art must watch this magnificent film.
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 greatest war films ever made that deals with the senseless and directionless brutality of war, arbitrary accusation and punishment, stoicism and self-sacrifice in the face of death, martyrdom, selfishness, and so much more. Parallels to Dostoyevski's Alyosha, Christ's death march to Golgotha, and Judas's onset of madness due to guilt, are all fascinatingly portrayed. This film deserves several viewings.
Deeply harrowing. A bit slow to develop, but the eventual climax provides a deep personal exploration of what it is to be a human being. Words are hardly necessary as Sheptiko just allows the camera sharply focused on one individual to explain everything. Klimov's Come and See perhaps takes a grander approach at the societal destruction caused by the war, but Sheptiko explores individual destruction.
I can only be grateful that I still have the chance to see such masterpieces. Very rarely a film hits its target, but this one unmistakably hits bull's eye. Through this film, one can, at the same time, live in a heroic state, martyrdom like, or the so called "life" of a traitor, who's unable either to live or die properly. A total masterpiece.