Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Come and See the Horrors of War

The 1985 film Come and See is a Soviet era film about the Belorussian resistance against the Germans during World War II. The Russian language film is shot from the perspective of a young Belorussian boy who joins the partisans at the height of the German occupation of the Western Soviet Union. After finding a Soviet rifle in the remains of a battlefield, the boy, Florya, leaves his rural village fight for the partisans.

With his rifle and what little belongings Florya has, the young Belorussian enters the partisan camp in a forest. Shortly after joining the camp, the partisans leave to fight the Germans, but Florya is considered too young by the camp’s commander and is left behind. He soon meets a girl near his age as German bombers start to strike the camp. German paratroopers then begin to land outside of the camp and Florya and his new friend face a surprise attack. The film continues into a violent and disheartening tale of pain and despair as the young partisan faces death at every corner.

Come and See is a shocking portrait of the brutality that the Soviet citizens faced at the hands of the Germans. The film does not shy away from the violence and horrors of war, which provides as close as possible an accurate visual of World War II. For most of the film, Florya is not fighting, but rather trying to survive and cope with the horrific scene of death surrounding him. Come and See is not a propaganda film, but instead a film about the struggle of the Soviet Union through the eyes of rural peasants trying to avoid slaughter at the hands of the Germans and perhaps being able to exact their revenge.

Recording with Patrick Bailey: http://www.box.net/shared/2v8hz8cluf

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