Come and See is the 3rd and final screening of Watzek’s Soviet Film Series. Check it out this Friday (April 1) at 7 pm in Miller 105.
Although downplayed in the west for decades to serve a political agenda, it was the Russo-German conflict of 1941-45 that defined the postwar world which followed. Soviet sacrifices in the “Great Patriotic War” were staggering and unprecedented, with over 20 million dead, half of these civilians. In Belorussia alone, 618 villages were destroyed by the Germans and their inhabitants executed, 185 of which were never rebuilt.
This is the background of Elem Klimov’s 1985 film Come And See (Idi i smotri), the story of a Belorussian boy who connects with the partisan movement. Klimov, himself a Stalingrad refugee as a child, takes full advantage of the loosening cultural restrictions that would soon give way to perestroika, creating a dark, disturbing depiction of a war so often synonymous with phony heroics and “glorious” self-sacrifice.