Capital Celluloid 2020 — Day 64: Wed Mar 4

The Ascent (Shepitko, 1977): Barbican Cinema, 6.20pm

This film is part of the 'Her Lens, His Story' season, Full details here.

Time Out review:
An extraordinary, gruelling account of the partisans' fight against the Nazis in German-occupied Belorussia, The Ascent reflects the Russian obsession with the horrors of the Great Patriotic War, but unusually is both steeped in religious symbolism and ready to acknowledge the existence of the less than great Russian collaborator. The true battle is not with the Nazis, who hover in the background as mere extras, but between the Russian Nazi investigator and Sotnikov, the captured partisan who finds the spiritual strength to go to his death unbeaten. With its many references to the Crucifixion, the story takes on heroic proportions glorifying the sufferings of the martyr and his influence on future generations. A remarkable piece of work, not least for being filmed in black-and-white against a vast, bleak expanse of snow.

Here (and above) is an extract.

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