RE: Come and See

Come And See (1985)

Missing Visual Aid

Directed by Elem Kilmov

Criterion Collection Edition

I am still looking for a better war film. "Come and See follows the traumatized life of a Byelorussian boy as he joins the resistance to fight the Nazi occupation of his country. There is less romanticization of war and more of a total bleakness. However, depressing imagery is the least of the concerns of the director; the film doesn't pursue the cinematics of World War II combat, nor does it set out to torture the viewer. Rather, I find more significance in a somewhat "meta" (it feels nasty and gross to say it) narrative of the depictions of war through media. Multiple scenes, with a camera as a focal point, capture what two cultures determine as triumphant, leaving the viewer with two picturesque (almost propagandist) moments of brotherhood and brutality. The documentarian-style exemplifies this; close-ups of our main characters show how the camera's "snapshot" physically affected them. Surviving through the horrors of the Nazi torture, Florya visibly ages with wrinkles and gives the viewer an ugly 1000-yard stare. The cameras in the film provide the hyperbolized comradery of troops, while the film itself shows a distinctly personal image of traumatized victims. I don't want to say too much about the film; you'll have to Come and See."

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