Idi i smotri (Come and See) (1985) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Soviet-era Russian film that engages in surprisingly realistic depictions of war. Obviously the Soviet censors relaxed their standards a bit when it came to portraying German atrocities.
In this case, the film is told through the eyes of a 13 year Byelorussian boy who witnessed the German atrocities of 1943 firsthand. The Germans went on a rampage through Byelorus, burning more than 600 villages to the ground, often locking all the inhabitants in the largest building before setting it on fire. 


a brief breast exposure from a dying/dead victim of German abuse
It isn't really a film in the conventional sense. It might be titled "visions of war", because that's all it is. Imagine a book of photographs depicting war atrocities and horrific visions of war in general. Now imagine that book coming to life as the still photos become film clips. Now further imagine that it isn't actual footage from 1943, but staged re-enactments to instruct people about what the war was like. 

Now you have this movie in mind.

DVD info from Amazon.

  • full screen

  • archive materials about the partisans in Belarus

  • archive materials documenting actual Nazi brutality

Some memorable moments: 
  • The boy tries to steal a cow to feed those hiding from the Germans. The cow is shot and dies. He sleeps on the recently-deceased cow for warmth and a pillow, the tries to devise a plan to move the cow because it's not too late to make steaks from it.
  • A girl does a lunatic dance in the woods.
  • The Germans cheer as the peasants burn.
  • Boys dig through battlefield carnage looking for guns left behind by dead soldiers.

As a succession of images, a collection of interrelated vignettes, it is brilliant. It creates a harrowing world of corpses, soldiers arriving from the skies, starvation, dirt, and cruelty. The imagery is original. 

Unfortunately there is no story.  

The Critics Vote

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters score it 8.5 
IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a C+. Excellent as a true-to-life docudrama, but has no plot of any kind, and will not appeal to many.

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