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The Ascent (1977)

Voskhozhdenie (original title)
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 ... See full summary »

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(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Sotnikov
...
Rybak
Sergey Yakovlev ...
Village elder
Lyudmila Polyakova ...
Demchikha
Viktoriya Goldentul ...
Basya
...
Portnov, the Nazi interrogator
Mariya Vinogradova ...
Village elder's wife
Nikolai Sektimenko ...
Stas'
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Boy wearing Budenovka (as Serezha Kanishchev)
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Storyline

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 garykmcd

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Genres:

Drama | War

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Release Date:

2 April 1977 (Soviet Union)  »

Also Known As:

The Ascent  »

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1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Quotes

Sotnikov: [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.
Rybak: So then, to the grave - to feed the worms. Right?
Sotnikov: 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.
Rybak: 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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User Reviews

 
The greatest and most harrowing war film of the 20th century...
18 March 2006 | by (Wellington, NZ) – See all my reviews

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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