The feature film directed by Elem Klimov, shot in the genre of military drama. The action takes place on the territory of Belarus in 1943. In the center of the story is a Belarusian boy, who witnesses the horrors of the Nazi punitive action, turning from a cheerful teenager into a gray-haired old man for two days.Written by
The rifle Flyora finds is a Soviet-made SVT-40, produced from 1940 to 1945. As shown in the film, the stock was prone to cracking due to being made of inferior birch wood. See more »
Many of the vehicles seen in this film are not the German standard Opel-Blitz truck nor the Kubelwagen car. Instead they are clearly post-World War II Soviet vehicles with slapped-on German Army markings. See more »
Quite possibly the most powerful film I have ever seen.
Come and See is one of the rare films that I can remember being emotionally drained upon its conclusion. The expression on my face as I sat there watching the credits scroll by seemed as worn and broken as that of the protagonist, Florya.
The film follows Florya as he "joins" (i.e. obtains a gun) a partisan group resisting the German advancements in the forests of his native Byelorussia during World War II. What he witnesses at the ripe age of 12 changes a once open-eyed, smiling face into a weathered, traumatized one that has experienced the unimaginable.
And of course the unimaginable were the Nazi atrocities committed during the war. Come and See does not focus on what the German Army did to the Jewish population but rather what they did to the native Soviet population. The Nazis were not only concerned with the utter destruction of the Jews but of the Bolshevik Party as well. And to Hitler that meant any man, woman, or child living under communist rule. And this "cleansing" fell into the hands of the SS who, as depicted in the movie, literally destroyed every sign of life.
Florya is able to escape death, unlike the rest of his family, but serves as a witness to the destruction and in this sense "dies" as his innocence and youth is lost. Klimov does a masterful job and depicting this slow death by concentrating on the facial expressions of Florya versus that of the Germans and both of their transformations over time. Klimov's Hitler montage at the end is especially moving and puts an interesting spin on the whole "what if" question.
This is the most historically accurate war movie I have ever seen and would highly recommend it to any war/history enthusiast. But I would also recommend it to any film watcher that realizes the goal of the medium which is to evoke emotion in the audience, and Come and See does just that.
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