A relentless shocker pulsated by the terrors of war, intoxicated with dread and desolation in such a horrific and existent way; Come and See is an in-depth gaze into the tragedies of war and the aftermath and effects on innocents. Director Elem Klimov introduces viewers to Florya, a Russian boy no older than sixteen, as he stares death, devastation, and the cruelty of Nazi-Germany in the face. Come and See doesn’t seem to hold back; nothing is remotely peaceful; scenes where the film’s ‘lovebirds’ Florya and Glasha are happily enjoying each other’s company is done with such dreary sense of sadness and poignancy. No one is safe.
Florya represents the youth that were cemented into the war. At first, Florya is ecstatic to be conscripted into the Soviet Partisan forces, but as the injection of real-life horror finally hits him, it doesn’t give the boy a chance to breathe. This is an overwhelming picture, depressing and powerful; an anti-war film that perfects the genre. Come and See is an unforgettable and exhausting experience for the ages, and one of the greatest achievements in cinema.