Come and See, set in Belarus, appears on many lists of films considered the best, and has been ranked by many as one of the greatest war films of all time.
For instance, film review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported a 96% approval critic response, with an average score of 8.3/10. No wonder, it happened again as an American website Screen Rant ranked it first on the list of the 10 Best World War II Movies.
“Come and See was originally titled Kill Hitler, which better describes the film’s tone. It’s not so much depressing as it is angry that such an atrocity took place and the only thing people can really do is make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Adding to the legitimacy is the screenplay, written by a veteran who fought with the Partisans as a teenager, and the fact it was filmed in chronological order. The lead actor was even fired upon with live ammunition in some scenes.
This trip through hell should be required viewing for anyone fortunate enough to never have lived through a war,” the description on the site reads.
The Soviet war drama thriller was directed by Elem Klimov, with a screenplay written by Klimov and Belarusian writer Ales Adamovich based on Khatyn Story, Partisans and Punishers books.
The film focuses upon the Nazi German occupation of Belarus, and primarily upon the events witnessed by a young Belarusian partisan teenager named Flyora (the diminutive of Florian).
The boy who despite his parents’ wishes joins the Belarusian resistance movement, and thereafter depicts the Nazi atrocities against people and human suffering.
Come and See had to wait eight years for approval from Soviet authorities before the film was finally produced to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Soviet victory in World War II.
It was a large box-office hit, with 28,900,000 admissions in the Soviet Union alone. As Klimov later told, the movie made such a strong impression on the audience abroad that ambulances had to be on duty during screenings.