“Come and See” Review ✦✦✦✦✦

8 March, 2018

Year of Release: 1985
Elem Klimov
Ales Adamovich, Elem Klimov
Director of Photography: 
Aleksei Rodionov
Aleksey Kravchenko, Olga Mironova, Liubomiras Laucevicius

Synopsis: A Byelorussian boy caught up in the atrocities of World War II witnesses the horrors of the Nazi regime first-hand, naively joining a local resistance group whose tactics prove futile in the face of oncoming massacre.

Come and See Review:

The sound of suffering brutally captured in the juxtaposition between chaos and symphony, “Come and See” translates pure agony into stylistic cacophony, locking brave viewers into their seats while re-enacting a war that cannot be described through words alone. Realistic and uncanny in its representation of the pain experienced by millions of innocents, with a truth extending beyond words in scenes of endless savagery, the film feigns nothing, capturing a deep-rooted anguish written into the genetic make-up of those left behind to act out the horrors buried under their feet.

Starving, turned grey, and driven practically insane by the harsh conditions of an emotionally draining film shoot, a fifteen-year-old Aleksei Kravchenko outshines every child star of his era through vacant expression alone, becoming the muddied eyes and partially deafened ears that capture a nation on the cusp of extermination. Struggling to find the energy to stay alive as everyone and everything he cares for crumbles to ashes, Kravchenko’s battered boy Florya transitions from child to adult over mere hours, finding his world crushed in scene upon scene of life-changing tragedy.

A film all-too honest about the face of conflict, pillage, and slaughter, “Come and See” gives haunting POV glimpses into the Nazi invasion, providing very few moments of respite as writer-director Elem Klimov allows starry-eyed chivalry to unravel in the coldest, most brutal fashion. Looking directly into the eyes of the innocent and into the abyss of suffering that overwhelms them, “Come and See” goes beyond performance to speak its truth, proving beautifully wretched while on the inevitable path towards destruction. Blown up, gang-raped, ransacked, and shot, Klimov’s final masterpiece is a starkly visceral cry for compassion, matching bloodied bodies with desperate screams in a film made like a series of nightmares raised straight from the depths of Hell.


Review Date
Come and See