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January 01, 2009

Come and See (Classic Film Pick)

Komse Stalingrad-born Elem Klimov's "Come and See" is a undiluted expression of cinematic poetry in the service of an unspeakably turbulent anti-war narrative about the 628 Byelorussian Villages burnt to the ground along with their inhabitants by the Nazis during WWII. The film is a disorienting vision of hell on Earth that would pale Hieronymus Bosch's most gruesome compositions. An electricity-buzzing stench of human death and social decay hangs over the remarkable picture's constant volley between neo-realistic, formal, and documentary styles that take the viewer on quick descent into the existential madness of war through the eyes of its fourteen-year-old peasant protagonist Florya. Alexei Kravchenko's phenomenal performance as Florya is of such an enormous dramatic magnitude that he physically transforms the audience.
Not Rated. 142 mins. (A+ (Five Stars)

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