The Shepitko movie I saw the other day was really something odd and interesting. So I’m excited to watch this one, but… it’s a war movie? OK, even more topical.
This starts off great… a bunch of soldiers/guerrillas in the forest, fleeing the Germans? Or something? I heard the word “partisans” being used. Aha:
The Soviet partisans were members of resistance movements that fought a guerrilla war against the Axis forces during World War II in the Soviet Union, the previously Soviet-occupied territories of interwar Poland in 1941–45 and eastern Finland. The activity emerged after Nazi Germany’s Operation Barbarossa was executed from mid-1941 on.
This looks great and has great, like, urgency, even if the pacing is placid.
Now it’s getting a bit confusing what’s actually going on…
I love the cinematography here. But actors are a bit hit and miss.
Uh-oh. And then everything turns all religiousy. The last third of the movie is an extended Jesus metaphor?
The film was nearly banned: regulatory authorities believed that a “religious parable with a mystical tinge” was shot instead of a partisan story.
But then Klimov (the guy who made that awful Come And See thing, and Shepitko husband) showed it to some sentimental Belarussian dignitary, who was so impressed that it was released.
And won the 1977 Gold Bear in Berlin, even.
This first half of this movie is genius. The last third is tedious. So:
The Ascent. Larisa Shepitko. 1977.
This blog post is part of the Eclipse series.