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  • Close-up on the face of a young boy, covered in dirt and some blood.
  • A young boy and young girl look up at the sky, surrounded by green trees.
  • A group of grizzled-looking citizens, some injured, stand in a clump; they hold up a sort of mannequin with a human skull as its head.
  • A young boy lays against a cow in a foggy field.

Elem Klimov’s



12:30   3:30   6:30   9:30

Director Elem Klimov 
Cast Aleksei Kravchenko, Olga Mironova, Liubomiras Laucevičius
Screenplay Elem Klimov, Ales Adamovich
Based on I Am from the Fiery Village by Ales Adamovich, Janka Bryl, and Vladimir Kolesnik
Cinematography Aleksei Rodionov
1985 | USSR | DCP restoration | Approx. 142 min. 
In Belorussian, Russian, and German with English subtitles

Belorussia, 1943, and 15-year-old Aleksei Kravchenko is so eager to join the partisans that he begins to dig up stashed rifles in an open field, even as a plane goes overhead. And then begins his nightmarish odyssey, done in vintage dream-like surrealist style: being accepted and rejected by the partisans; deafened by bombers, he and a young nurse wander through the forest as refuge, finding an empty village with food on the plates still warm; running through a minefield; stealing a cow only to have it shot in a crossfire. And then, with bells ringing and dogs barking, a hair-raisingly realistic final hecatomb, epilogued by an objective flashback unique in film history, unreeling backward overall and within shots. Non-pro Kravchenko ages before our eyes, through both his performance and stunning makeup. During the actual Battle of Stalingrad, director Klimov was evacuated with his mother and baby brother under fire on a makeshift raft across the Volga. Despite living another 18 years, this was Klimov’s final film. 

A Mosfilm restoration produced by Karen Shakhnazarov.



“There have been many Russian movies on the subject of World War II but none more ferocious than Elem Klimov’s ‘Come and See.’ Seldom if ever have wartime atrocities been depicted so vividly — and with such hallucinated fervor.”
– J. Hoberman, The New York Times

“I have rarely seen a film more ruthless in its depiction of human evil.”
– Roger Ebert

“Klimov taps into that hallucinatory nether world of blood and mud and escalating madness that Coppola found in Apocalypse Now.”
– Rita Kempley, The Washington Post

“A disorienting and undifferentiated amalgam of almost lyrical poeticism and expressionist nightmare.”
– Wally Hammond, Time Out

“Had I included everything I knew and shown the whole truth, even I could not have watched it.”
– Elem Klimov (from an interview with Nancy Ramsey, The New York Times)

Film Forum