Every film from Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" essays.
Come and See
A boy is unwillingly thrust into the atrocities of war in WWII Byelorussia, fighting for a hopelessly unequipped resistance movement against the ruthless German forces. Witnessing scenes of abject terror and accidentally surviving horrifying situations he loses his innocence and then his mind.
One of the more upsetting experiences I've had in a long time, and a true document of evil so disturbing, only human beings could fathom such horror. The fact everything on screen actually occurred on my planet is proof we're doomed as a species...eventually, maybe not in our lifetime.
Come and See is a film I find almost impossible to review. Describing watching a film as an 'experience' often detracts from the quality of the piece, but going by the profound effect the film had on me I really feel no other word can do it justice.
World War 2 films often seem to fall victim to Hollywood romanticism and sensationalism and while that certainly has some appeal, I always prefer my war films on the grimmer side. Grim and bleak is something the Russians do really well and combined with the atrocities that occurred during WW2 in Belarus, what we are presented with is one of the most disturbing and confrontational studies of the devastating effects of war…
It feels very awkward writing a review on the notorious Come and See while listening to the theme song from My Neighbor Totoro but I'll give it a go anyway.
Harrowing, Tormenting, Agonizing. There are many adjectives one can use to attempt to describe this film but none of them seem to do it justice. In another review (Steven Jordan's) the word Nightmarish is used and I think it's probably the one that gets closest to the relentless terror that is on-screen and the interesting thing about this is that it implies something of the supernatural happening here, but the true reason why it feels like one of the worst nightmares I've ever had is that the events depicted actually…
"Get out without the children. Right here, out of the window. But leave the children"
Come and See is the most terrifying horror film ever made. It left me speechless when it ended, and I can't find the appropriate words, even now, to describe this film. It features the best child acting I've seen in cinematic history; they truly master every emotion that's shown on screen. The most terrifying thing about this film, though, is that its seen from the perspective of a child - the transformation of a naive, innocent boy into a monster with a hateful and vengeful spirit. It's…
Come and See is undoubtedly the most heartbreaking film I've ever watched, with a really powerful and mesmerizing performance by actor Aleksey Kravchenko, who portrays Florya Gaishun, a young Belorussian boy that faces the atrocities of WWII. There are some very disturbing and graphic scenes, but what makes this such a devastating experience is how director Elem Klimov captures the gradual loss of innocence of this boy and his descent to insanity due to these horrendous acts of violence. Aleksey's facial expressions and gestures truly demonstrate his character's total despair in later portions of the film in a very moving way, but you also see him excited and anxious to join the Soviet resistance movement in the beginning of the…
What's the point of even watching another war film when this one is so searingly embedded all over my skin? As far as I'm concerned, no other cinematic work has been able to depict such grueling and unrelenting savagery in its elaborate detail. Klimov creates an emotional landscape which left me so wrought with sorrow, yet his surrealist elements were just as intense, foreboding and extremely euphoric. I felt right there with Florya and my senses were traumatically assaulted.
Compelled by patriotism and youthful idealism, the child leaves home to join a partisan unit during the Nazi occupation of Belarus in WWII. Within minutes his innocence is stripped away and the premature knowledge of war is revealed to him. Successive…
Watched 146 minutes version (longest version available) in a film museum. Never been so quiet in a cinema. That's really some heavy shit.
I like the simple message at the end of the film: "Fuck that guy."
A nightmare that became reality, the final shots of the Hitler photo were quite redundant, but then again, this was a soviet-approved film in all fronts.
The thing I adore here is that there are no limits in this movieworld, (seemingly) no place where the camera cannot "come and see"... or more like drift. Serene sunset fields and summer forests become hell on earth, victors become victims - through it all the camera, a curious visitor like the kid, floats, seeing it all, all the horrible secrets just behind the corner. Mad fever visions.
The thing I dislike here is the need to wrap the big narrative around the kid instead of letting it roam free as well. As his emotional side gradually fades away, we lose our touch to the human aspect entirely. For me, he didn't become a mirror of the war, instead a sort of complimentary camera drifting through the madness, an inspector instead of someone inspected (only the sort of obvious last scene shifting back). But that is a minor complaint. This vision cannot be ignored.
It's one of the most terrifying and brutal pictures of all time. The information that the film gives us doesn't go only to our eyes and mind but into our soul as well. The film is a nightmare which happens to be true, we hope that it wouldn't be true but it is. Every one of us can identify with that feeling even though (thankfully) all of us can't identify with the fear and chaos that war causes into our minds and bodies. The surreal, almost apocalyptic landscape opens in front of us - its atmosphere is created through unscrupulous and intense acting, heady sound world, flawless and restless camera work and the end-time color world which makes us fear…
This is extremely well-regarded: almost 19,000 votes on the IMDB, averaging 8.2, and Roger Ebert called it, "One of the most devastating films ever about anything." Maybe that over-hype is to blame: I found it lukewarm, and certainly not devastating. It's the story of Florya (Kravchenko), who digs up a rifle out of the sand, and joins the local partisans fighting against the Nazis in World War 2. When they march off, he is left behind - his shoes are taken - and he returns home, to find the Germans have visited the village, and wiped out his family. Florya collapses into madness almost instantly, and the remaining 90 minutes are, more or less, him pulling faces while bad shit…
Contains truly amazing scenes of realistic wartime suffering that challenge the common assumption (echoed by Francois Truffaut): that "it is impossible to make an anti-war film, because films tend to make war look exciting." The effects that impressed me the most tread pretty close to aforementioned excitement, but that's reality I guess. I'm thinking especially of a scene with real machine guns shooting at the camera and what can only be real fear in the child actor--it's also a great example of the powerful methods available without PETA around. Definitely unique. You might be forgiven for wondering why you're putting yourself through such a harrowing ordeal, and I'm not certain the ending answers that question sufficiently.
This is the most horrific war film I've ever seen. told through the eyes of a little boy drifting from traumatic event to traumatic event as he experiences the german invasion of his village, eventually becoming a hateful monster himself in the process. The ending is truly disturbing.
Para quem acha que filmes de guerra se resumem a somente “O Resgate do Soldado Gayn” e cia, é porque nunca viram “Come and See”, a obra prima de Elem Klimov. Com a trilha sonora exclusiva de Mozart, o filme se passa entre os anos de 1941 a 1945, e retrata as consequências devastadoras da guerra, espelhadas ao longo da história no próprio rosto do protagonista, Flyora, um adolescente de apenas 16 anos de idade jogado ao meio de todas as atrocidades dos conflitos.
Come and See é um filme forte, intenso e cruelmente realístico. Daqueles em que você precisa de mais de uma semana para se recuperar dele.
A powerful and disturbing ending but it's a bit of a slog getting there.
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