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Voskhozhdeniye

The Ascent
Larisa Shepitko
Udssr 1976
110min
V'18

In einer erbarmungslosen Schneewüste entfaltet sich ein archaisches Drama um Verrat und Schuld. Zwei russische Partisanen im Zweiten Weltkrieg werden von den Deutschen gefangen genommen. Dereine, Sotnikow, bleibt in der Folter standhaft und stirbt einen christusgleichen Märtyrertod. Der andere, Rybak, zuvor durchaus als tapferer Soldat aufgetreten, wird aus Überlebensgier zum Judas, zurtragischen, gequälten Kreatur Dostojewski’schen Ausmaßes. Sein finaler Schmerzensschrei unstillbarer Reue verstummt unter der markdurchdringenden Musik Alfred Schnittkes. (Barbara Kronsfoth)

 

Vasil Bykau was luckier than most writers, for cinema treated this master of Great Patriotic War-fiction mighty well: for almost all films based on his novels and stories turned out splendidly, even if their directors came almost all from the industry’s second echelon; Bykau, it seems, inspired the best in each. Which is also true for geniuses, as this corpus’ lone masterpiece: VOSKHOZHDENIYE, was created by one of the most unpredictable and daring souls of USSR cinema: Larisa Shepitko, who outdid herself here.
In the time-honored tradition of Great Patriotic War-fiction, VOSKHOZHDENIYE depicts the nation’s battles and plights between 1941 and 1945 as a religious experience. Two irregulars: Sotnikov and Rybak, fall into the invader’s hands and are passed on for investigation to a local collaborator: Portnov, an officer of the Belarusian Auxiliary Police, who has them tortured; Sotnikov choses Golgotha while Rybak faces a fate worse than Judas Iscariot’s … And so, one man’s Ascension (a better translation of the Russian title than Ascent) becomes another’s eternal damnation. All that set in a glacial world of wild snow flurries and ice storms, of rotten wood and mud – a world of despair where it truly takes faith to live until sunrise. (Olaf Möller)

Credits
  • Boris Plotnikov - Sotnikov
  • Vladimir Gostyukhin - Rybak
  • Sergey Yakovlev - village eldest
  • Lyudmila Polyakova - Demchikha
  • Anatoli Solonitsyn - Portnov
  • Mariya Vinogradova - wife of the village eldest
  • Jurij Klepikov
  • Larisa Shepitko based on the novel „Sotnikov“ by Vasil Bykau
  • Yan Pototsky
  • Vladimir Čuhnov
  • Pavel Lebeshev
  • Valerija Belova
  • Alfred Schnittke
  • Yuriy Raksha
Mosfilm
Mosfilm Cinema Concern
DCP
bw
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