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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 »

Director:

Larisa Shepitko

Writers:

Vasiliy Bykov (novel), Yuri Klepikov (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

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

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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Mosfilm [rus]

Country:

Soviet Union

Language:

Russian | German

Release Date:

1977 (Norway) See more »

Also Known As:

The Ascent See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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

 
Bleak, emotionally crushing, beautiful
24 May 2013 | by neigenoirejzSee all my reviews

Is one's life the most valuable thing one can possess? Are all ideals and philosophies mere fallacy, not worth sacrificing one's life for? These are the questions this film touches upon. And does so brilliantly.

By today's standards, the film might be viewed as somewhat slow-paced and indeed, without giving too much away, certain scenes are a bit stretched out and in my opinion, could have been made shorter for stronger emotional impact. Nonetheless, the amazing performance by all the main actors kept me glued to the screen most of the time. The hopelessness and the terror of war, intensified by the unforgiving Russian winter, permeates the film from start to finish.

The film presents us with food for thought not covered much by modern cinema, touching upon something that isn't often discussed openly in modern society. We avoid it because it lurks inside each of us and we fear it - venality and betrayal in face of death.

Our life is everything we know - the entire world ends with it, as Portnov, the Nazi interrogator says in the film. Would YOU sacrifice it for something? For anything? This film will force you to ponder this question and reflect on your values and yourself as a human being.


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