The Disasters of War


7 ¶ And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see.
8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.
Revelations 6

There are horror films, there are films about the horror of war, and then there is Elem Klimov’s Come and See (Idi i Smotri). Klimov made the film in 1985 from a screenplay by Ales Adamovich based on that writer’s experiences as a young Russian partisan fighting the Nazis during the Second World War. This biographical quality may be what gives the film its incredible immediacy and authority (Klimov also suffered as a child during the war) even though its power is obviously a product of Klimov’s skills as a director.

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