10,000 BC

Idi i smotri (come and see)(1985)
Aleksei Kravchenko Florya Gaishun (as A. Kravchenko)
Olga Mironova Glasha (as O. Mironova)
Liubomiras Lauciavicius Kosach (as L. Lautsyavichius)
Vladas Bagdonas (as V. Bagdonas)
Juris Lumiste (as Yu. Lumiste)
Viktor Lorents (as V. Lorents)
Kazimir Rabetsky (as K. Rabetsky)
Yevgeni Tilicheyev (as Ye. Tilicheyev)
Aleksandr Berda (as A. Berda)
G. Velts
V. Vasilyev
Igor Gnevashev (as I. Gnevashev)
Vasili Domrachyov (as V. Domrachyov)
G. Yelkin
Ye. Kryzhanovsky
N. Lisichenok
Vladimir Manayev (as V. Manayev)
Takhir Matyullin (as T. Matyulin)
Pyotr Merkuryev (as P. Merkuryev)
Valentin Mishatkin (as V. Mishatkin)
G. Matytsky
Yevgeniya Polyakova (as Ye. Polyakova)
Anatoli Slivnikov (as A. Slivnikov)
Georgi Strokov (as G. Strokov)
Tatyana Shestakova (as T. Shestakova)
Oleg Shapko (as O. Shapko)
Writer: Ales Adamovich,Ales Adamovich
And I heard one of the four living creatures saying, as with a voice of thunder...
Come and See (1985)****

I first saw this movie a couple of years ago. I didn't really know what to think of it at first. The soundtrack on the DVD is a little messy and the acting was a bit strange. I knew it had affected me though in a way that not many other movies had. As time went by I began to realize just how much of an impact the movie had on me. It really, really stuck with me. One night, while writing a review of Errol Morris's latest documentary "Fog of War", I found myself thinking more and more about Come and See, and decided that I had to watch it again immediately. I ran out after midnight and rented it, and watched it 3 times or so over the next week. I started to see why the film had been haunting me and sticking around my thoughts. The reason was that this movie is simply a masterpiece.

Elem Klimov directs the film, starring Aleksei Kravchenko as Florya, a young boy who desires to fight with the Partisan's army against the invading Nazi army. He digs until he finds a rifle, then the next day he is off to a camp in the middle of the woods. The scene is chaotic it seems and unorganized. The fighters try to take a photo that takes about 5 minutes to accomplish because everyone keeps messing up their positions. Florya spots Glasha (Olga Mironova), a young girl, who has the younger fighters swooning over her, and who also seems to have some sort of relationship with the leader of the camp. What that relationship is exactly we never find out. Florya gets left behind on the attack because he is perhaps too young, and besides another older fighter needs some new boots, and swaps with the new kid. .

The anxious Florya is upset by this decision and he takes to the woods for some solitude, he cries and then discovers that near by Glasha is also crying at being left at the camp, more so for being left alone than behind. The two begin to bond and end up in an open field when German planes attack and begin to bomb the encampment. The scenes that follow next teeter on the brink of madness on film. Come and See is likely one of the most maddening films ever made for that matter. The key is the soundtrack. Florya is struck deaf for a few moments by the bombs. Sounds are muffled, but not like anything you've ever seen in a Hollywood film. The soundtrack is a mix of strange ringing and sounds and music, adding to the atmosphere of chaos that the two youngsters have now been thrown into. Much of the film has this style of soundtrack, which makes the Florya's descent into madness much more poignant.

The film movies forward from here back to Florya's village which has now been deserted. The two head to an island on the other side of a bog where Florya believes the town is hiding along with his mother and sisters. The scene where they climb through the mud is another example of Florya losing his mind. The soundtrack again becomes ambient and menacing in its strange blends of sounds. They eventually find some villagers and Florya now even more loses his sanity, along with some of his hair, which is given to recreate a statue of Hitler. This will be the last time we see Glasha in the movie, as Florya goes with a party to collect food for the starving people.

The most famous scene, and the one that will likely never leave you, is of a village being ransacked by Nazi soldiers. The scene is chaotic and culminates in a barn stuffed with the townspeople being burned and shot apart. Another one of the most famous shots from the movie is of Florya shooting a photo of Hitler, each bullet making time reverse. The photo goes back in time until it is a picture of Hitler as a baby on his mothers lap. He is an innocent infant, and Florya cannot bring himself to fire another shot. These shots are incredibly powerful and they stick in your mind.

Obviously, Come and See was filmed with influences of Soviet Propaganda in it, but it hardly matters because it is so well made and so maddening you can't help but be totally absorbed by the experience. The movie has a hypnotic quality about it, and without being horrifying because it's a jump out of your seat surprise bloodbath, it is horrifying in its representation of the cruelty people are capable of in war.

I can't remember ever seeing another film that expressed the descent into madness any better and being so involving as Come and See. By the end of the film, you feel like you've just experienced what it must be like to lose your mind. The film never goes into the desensitizing of violence in war. Instead it focuses on the violence which causes those who witness to become desensitized from the madness of its cruelty.

Elem Klimov created this film out of his actors and their emotions, and essentially used the viewer as another character. This movie draws you in and makes you experience exactly what the characters must. There are few other films that do that to you, especially to the extent that this one does it. And for that, Come and See is not only a masterpiece, it's really one of the best films you'll ever see. Find it, but don't just watch it. Allow it to take you in; even if that means you have to see it a couple times. Let it take you in, and you're in for an experience rarely found in cinema anymore

Nr of disks/tapes:2
User credit 1:1001 movies you must see before you die
User credit 2:723
Storage device:Divx 5
Imdb rating: 8.2
Running time: 146 min / Germany
Subtitles: Svenska
Audio tracks: Stereo [Russian]
Everything else:
Last modified: 2008-02-17 05:51:38