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The Ascent (1977), on the other hand, is claustrophobically terrestrial. Based on a novella by Vasili Bykov, it depicts two Soviet partisans, Sotnikov (Boris Plotnikov) and Rybak (Vladimir Gostyukhin), searching for food to feed their starving troop in German-occupied Belarus. This war film depicts horror through landscape, featuring long shots of frozen tundra and snowy forests. Well-known as a Christian allegory, The Ascent likens Sotnikov to Christ as he morally transcends corruption and cruelty inflicted upon himself and his partner by Russian Nazi-collaborator, Portnov (Anatoli Solonitsyn). Like Tarkovskys masterpiece, Andrei Rublev, The Ascent charts a characters path through a dark, dismal historical period. Set partially afield and partially in prison camp, it makes for brutal viewing that is nevertheless stunningly rewarding. It is wonderful to have a female auteur to add to the Russian cinematic canon, as Sheptiko brings to these hardened characters a sensitivity that could be construed as feminine. --Trinie Dalton
We have to understand simple principles of life and try follow them.
It is never a good idea to engage in the game of "best ever" or "Top 100" lists -- they are often only useful for what they exclude.
This is a fine, incisive piece of filmmaking; the other picture, THE ASCENT, is, without question, a great movie.
While both films are incredible, they are quite different from each other, and that is why this package is so wonderful. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Christopher Thomas
My "Wings" haiku review
Life. Now? Headmistress.
"Soviet Hero - let's push!"
Can't go back? Perhaps.... Read more