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 a local farmhouse but...
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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.
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 a local farmhouse 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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Having just seen this, I find it hard to believe that it is not better known. This and the slightly-better-known, but almost-as-shamefully-neglected COME AND SEE (Klimov, 1986) must be two of the greatest war films. They are meaningful, powerful, incisive. THE ASCENT is also gifted with a sparingly-used, but brilliantly trenchant score by Schnittke.
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