Come and See (1985)
November 17, 2022 12:00 PM - Subscribe

The invasion of a village in Byelorussia by German forces sends young Florya (Aleksey Kravchenko) into the forest to join the weary Resistance fighters, against his family's wishes. There he meets a girl, Glasha (Olga Mironova), who accompanies him back to his village. On returning home, Florya finds his family and fellow peasants massacred. His continued survival amidst the brutal debris of war becomes increasingly nightmarish, a battle between despair and hope. The film recently overtook Everything Everywhere All at Once as the highest-rated narrative feature film on Letterboxd.

Directed by Elem Klimov. Screenplay by Klimov and Ales Adamovich, based on the 1971 novel Khatyn and the 1977 memoir I Am from the Fiery Village which Adamovich co-scripted.

97% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

Currently streaming in the US on Criterion. JustWatch listing. Also uploaded in 1080p to YouTube, in its entirety.
posted by DirtyOldTown (9 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I watched about half this movie a few months ago on Kanopy. I was so thoroughly devastated that I had to stop and haven't had the heart to watch the rest. I do need to go back and finish it though.
posted by Saxon Kane at 12:32 PM on November 17, 2022

I know this is extremely good, but I can't bring myself to watch it. It sounds, yes, devastating.
posted by praemunire at 1:26 PM on November 17, 2022

This has been on my watchlist for years because it's on Ebert's Great Movie list and I've been avoiding it for all that time but I'm starting to run out of films on Roger's list so I'll have to tackle it soon.
posted by octothorpe at 1:42 PM on November 17, 2022

I saw this 10 or 15 years ago. It was brutal and harrowing but I loved it. That said, I may never watch it again.
posted by johnofjack at 1:49 PM on November 17, 2022

The rifle starts the movie. The rifle ends the movie.
The rifle is a character and it finally speaks.
posted by Seamus at 1:51 PM on November 17, 2022

The bulk of the film is brutal, almost surreal, and yet so, so real. But that final sequence -- which I will not spoil -- drives home something absolutely emotionally shattering about war, genocide, and trauma.

I can also never forget a scene earlier in the film in which Glasha chooses to sees something Florya does not, because he does not want to. But the allusion to Lot's wife is deliberately skewed here; it's really Florya, not Glasha, who is very nearly destroyed, for what he has spent the beginning of the the film refusing to see.

And then the rest of the film forces him to see, and makes the audience bear witness. That ending is not just the rifle speaking, but Florya finally coming to see and understand something about humanity and the loss of humanity, all at once.
posted by kewb at 5:51 PM on November 17, 2022 [2 favorites]

Bleak and harrowing in its cumulative effect, yes, but also beautifully made and deeply engaging throughout. I think sometimes that second part gets left out of discussions about this film. It's tough emotionally but completely captivating too. I finally watched it a few months ago and was glad I did.
posted by mediareport at 5:38 AM on November 18, 2022

I fucking hate war movies almost all of which make war sexy and exciting. How this one does something different I do not know but, it does something very different. Maybe I would feel different if I had more grounding in the cultural milieu.
posted by latkes at 7:25 PM on November 19, 2022

Anyone here seen any other Elem Klimov films?
posted by latkes at 7:29 PM on November 19, 2022

« Older 1899: The Dark is Rising...   |  Movie: Last Looks... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments