Come and See (1985)

Inspired in part by I Come from the Burning Village, a collection of interviews with survivors of the Nazi atrocities committed against the peasant farmers of Belarus in the early 1940s, Klimov’s savage masterpiece influenced Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan, and Malick’s The Thin Red Line, though neither deserves to be mentioned in the same sentence. Separated from the partisan soldiers he joined after leaving behind his mother and two sisters, 12-year-old Florya (Kravchenko), together with pretty teenage peasant girl Glasya (Miranova), wanders aimlessly and struggles merely to survive. Deafened by an explosion, Florya bears silent, wide-eyed witness to the genocidal near-annihilation of the civilian population. Cinematographer Alexei Rodionov’s fluid Steadicam draws us into the black heart of the horror, which is also painted on Florya’s increasingly haggard face. J G Ballard called it ‘one of the greatest war films ever made’, and indeed it topped Time Out's top 50 WW2 films list. NF
Dir Elim Klimov (Aleksey Kravchenko, Olga Mironova, Liubomiras Lauciavicius)

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