Title – Come and See (1985)
Director – Elem Klimov (Farewell)
Cast – Aleksey Kravchenko, Olga Mironova, Liubomiras Laucevicius
Plot – It’s 1943 and young Belarus boy Flyora (Kravchenko) finds a gun and leaves his home and family to join in the local resistance forces who are preparing to ward off the invading German army, opening up his eyes to an horrific world he was unable to prepare for.
“They’ll find you no matter what”
Review by Eddie on 03/12/2020
It didn’t gain instant notoriety or awards upon its initial release in 1985, but in the years that have now passed on between its original opening, Elem Klimov’s horrifying examination of war has steadily gained a following amongst the film-going public, only increasing with a recent re-release that played out in cinemas across the globe.
Billed as a war drama, make no doubt about it that Klimov’s World War 2 set tale is a straight up horror, an at times hard to watch expose of what wars such as the great wars of the 1900’s did to humanity as people from all walks of life were caught up in life and death situations that cared not for race, age, gender or anything else at that matter.
Following Aleksey Kravchenko’s young farm boy Flyora Gaishun as he finds a gun and joins the Soviet resistance in their fight against the marauding German army, Come and See quickly establishes itself as a fever dream like experience that barely takes a moments pause too offer respite from the increasingly tense and traumatic experience’s Flyora finds himself in as the situations around him continue to grow more dangerous and his humanity begins to come a part at the seams.
Filmed in an almost documentary like fashion that is embedded with foggy hazes and grey colours by the films director of photography Aleksey Rodionov, not even the seemingly beautiful surrounds of the European farm lands or forests offer us or Flyora any chances to glimpse light in the midst of the darkness of this tale that for some may be too much to bare as the film pushes forward along its two and half hour run-time.
Culminating in an extended and confronting final stretch that takes place around Soviet villages and it’s people as the German forces make their way deeper into the Soviet occupied lands, Come and See is far from an entertaining film but one that is likely to cause reflection for many back towards a time where the horrors we see here on film existed in our real world.
In the world of this film and the world of its lead character Flyora, we find a figure that is naive and not all that likable, ignorant to wishes of those that want the best for him and quick to enact out some extremely poorly judged acts, his a hard figure to warm to and a reason why Come and See might not be as engaging as other films of its ilk that harbor far more tolerable main protagonists but in many ways his sure to be drawn from real life characters of the same age and background that knew very little about the consequences of their actions or what was occurring around them.
Final Say –
A tough watch and one that doesn’t make for entertaining viewing, Come and See is a war film done the way of straight up horror, born from the atrocities and loss of innocence that was bought on by one of mankind’s darkest periods.
4 Hitler scarecrows out of 5