In a freezing cold World War II winter, two pro-Soviet partisans - Sotnikov and Rybak - head off to find food for themselves and their compatriots. They find a goat at the home of a German ...
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A fascinating and human portrayal of a once-famous fighter pilot and loyal Stalinist named Nadezhda Petrovna. Now a 41-year-old provincial schoolmistress, she has so internalized the ... See full summary »
Three unconnected episodes united by a common theme: the establishment of the Soviet rule in Russia during the civil war of the early 1920s. Depicts dramatic events in simple lives of peasants and soldiers.
Matyora is a small village on a beautiful island with the same name. The existence of the village is threatened with flooding by the construction of a dam. This is the story of the ... See full summary »
A loving film tribute to Russian filmmaker Larisa Shepitko, who died tragically in a car accident in 1979 at the age of 40. This documentary by her husband, Elem Klimov, includes excerpts ... See full summary »
In a Carpathian village, Ivan falls in love with Marichka, the daughter of his father's killer. When tragedy befalls her, his grief lasts months; finally he rejoins the colorful life around... See full summary »
In a freezing cold World War II winter, two pro-Soviet partisans - Sotnikov and Rybak - head off to find food for themselves and their compatriots. They find a goat at the home of a German Headman but their return to camp is interrupted when they are arrested by a Nazi patrol. Taken prisoner, Sotnikov stands true to his beliefs and refuses to answer any questions despite physical abuse and torture. Rybak on the other hand argues that since they know nothing, they should simply tell them all that they know and do whatever they can to stay alive. One of them will live, but at a very heavy cost. Written by
[Imprisoned, Sotnikov and Rybak are arguing whether to speak with Germans or not]
We're soldiers. Soldiers. Don't crawl in shit. You'll never wash it off.
So then, to the grave - to feed the worms. Right?
That's not the worst that could happen. No. That's not what I'm talking about. Now I understand. I understand. The important thing is to be true to yourself.
Fool! You're a fool, Sotnikov. You graduated from the institute for nothing. I want to live! To live! To kill those bastards! Understand?...
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The greatest and most harrowing war film of the 20th century...
Larisa Shepitko's THE ASCENT (1976) is an extraordinary, gruelling account of the partisans' fight against the Nazis in German-occupied Belorussia, The Ascent reflects the Russian obsession with the horrors of the Great Patriotic War, but unusually is both steeped in religious symbolism and ready to acknowledge the existence of the less than great Russian collaborator. The true battle is not with the Nazis, who hover in the background as mere extras, but between the Russian Nazi investigator and Sotnikov, the captured partisan who finds the spiritual strength to go to his death unbeaten. With its many references to the Crucifixion, the story takes on heroic proportions glorifying the sufferings of the martyr and his influence on future generations. A remarkable piece of work.
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