Come and See ( 1985)
Director: Elem Klimov
I have never watched this film though heard about it. First 15 minutes were difficult, the film felt odd and I couldn't connect with it but I persevered. To summarize my feelings: I would say that it is a revenge film with a lot of anger and even hatred behind.
I think that Come and See suffers as art. I noticed some influences from Tarkovsky for example but there was something unconvincing about Come and See of how it was trying to use instruments of directors like Tarkovsky in its naturalistic effort. Tarkovsky despite his cruelty in Ivan Rublev ( infamous horse scene) elevated his art above naturalism and realism. Elem Klimov doesn't elevate the viewer, he puts him down. On the other hand the message Klimov made is very powerful indeed ( the level of hatred is so high it's shocking). Though I had a problem with this message too.
Come and See uses language of Tarkovsky and alike in a way which offends art. Not only artistically but also as a message Klimov's effort seems as an antipode to Tarkovsky worldview. Come and See is a statement of revenge and hatred while Tarkovsky's films teach to transcend over animal side of human nature.
Despite that western viewers appreciate Come and See as a great war movie I would advise to counterbalance it with other examples of Russian cinema which are more fine in art and message ( for example, Ivan's Childhood by Tarkovsky, In the Fog by Sergei Loznitsa).
Nevertheless I would highly recommend Come and See because of its brutal, cruel, powerful and uncompromising message.
Edited by mutabor - 9/24/13 at 3:02am