cinema. A devastating account of the Nazi occupation of Belarussia during World War II, it tells the story of a young boy's abrupt loss of innocence when he joins the Soviet resistance and is thrust headlong into the brutal horrors of combat. Featuring terrifyingly authentic battle scenes and
Horrific, distressing, moving. One of the very best anti-war films I have seen
- Come and See review by RP
It's in Russian, with subtitles. But don't let that put you off - this is a powerful, distressing anti-war film and if that's what you're looking for you'll find it in spades here.
It tells the story of a young boy joining the ill-equipped partisans fighting a futile resistance against the German army as it cuts a violent swathe through Byelorussia in the Second World War. Pursuing a brutal 'scorched earth' policy, the Germans put entire villages to the torch - including the inhabitants.
This is not a film for the squeamish. Although only rated 15 (there is limited on-screen explicit violence) this film has scenes that I found quite horrific and very moving.
One of the very best anti-war films I have seen. 5/5 stars.
5 out of 5 members found this review helpful.
Outstanding War Film.
- Come and See review by Steve Mason
No other film comes close for rendering the the horror of war on the screen. An overwhelming cinematic experience, though necessarily shocking and distressing.
3 out of 3 members found this review helpful.
Resoundingly successful anti-war film
- Come and See review by TE
Hugely powerful story of one young teenager and his passage through the horrors of war.
Packed to the brim with memorable images and facial close-ups that linger long after the scene has moved on. It seems that this was the pinnacle of Klimov's career as a director, but seeing this film makes me want to see more of his work.
Yes, this is about the Nazi ravaging of Belarus, but it is also a timeless and universal exposure of the barbarism of war.
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful.
Arguably One of the Best Anti War Films Ever Made
- Come and See review by JS
If you ever go to Minsk in Belarus there is now a new museum dedicated to victims and information about the "Second World War" or more appropriately the "Great Patriotic War" as it is referred to by Belarussians and Russians. The population loss of Belarus alone, far far outweighing anything we experienced in Britain, is mind blowing as are the atrocities that were committed against the Belarusian people and their amazing heroism in defending their land. This film deserves all the praise it has received, documenting one aspect of the Nazi invasion of Belarus as seen from the eyes of an initially naïve but then overwhelmed teenager. As the film tells us at the end 628 Belarussian villages were burned by the Nazis with their occupants locked up inside. To me this film rates alongside Grave of the Fireflies as one of the most truthful, to the point, yet harrowing war films I have ever seen.
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.
Surprisingly bloodless but no less brutal
- Come and See review by MB
Mel Gibson take note, this is how you make a visceral war movie. You don't need copious amounts of gore, dismembered limbs, and the like. What you should have are (i) a foreign land the Nazis treated like a plaything, its people considered less than human (ii) a ragtag bunch of resistance fighters that makes up for its lack of effectiveness with blind enthusiasm and machismo (iii) a family that exists to show the bleak cheapness of life during wartime (iv) the perspective of an adolescent, who over the course of the film and things he sees becomes a jaded and mentally shattered old man by its close. This is how you do it. The violence is more implied than explicit, but it's there, all seen from the point of view of Aleksey Kravchenko's young protagonist and his disbelieving glares straight into the camera lens.
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.
A Russian anti-war film
- Come and See review by JG
We start peacefully with two boys digging in the sand at the site of a previous conflict looking for weapons and we build up from there. There is not a lot of blood and guts action fighting, as in many war films, but we build up to the horrors of a Nazi SS extermination of a Belarus village. At this point there is no distinction made between regular soldiers and SS, all Germans are depicted as depraved and debauched. In reality the Wehrmacht were ruthless but disciplined (in the main), although the film is depicting them as they would have been perceived by the villagers. Later as the tide turned and the perpetrators were captured and dealt with by the resistance fighters they were quickly dispatched and not made to suffer pain, which is not what would have happened. The fight up to the taking of Berlin was just as bad as the original invasion of Russia, but the film doesn't go there. Instead it asks how we could unwind all this horror. There are scenes of the holocaust and how Hitler rose to power, but that is not the only event in history that needs to be put right. There were wars for centuries before, and there have been wars since, with just as many atrocities taking place in the name of Nationalism. If you are pacifist you will see this as an anti war film. If you are a nationalist then you will see it as a justification for fighting to defeat evil, which is a shame. I can't think of a film that strikes at the real problem, Nationalism.
0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.
Vital viewing for adults.
- Come and See review by Sonia
Although largely acted, you will believe all you see.
This shows how war is.
And you will be disgusted by how some people become inhuman.
My star rating is purely on this astonishing film-making