The Ascent

Boris Plotnikov as Sotnikov

Voskhozhdenie, the USSR movie from 1977, usually goes by the English title The Ascent, though The Ascension would be semantically and tonally closer to the mark, since this is a war movie done as an allegory for the passion of Jesus Christ. It’s a “lost patrol” movie. Or, to be strict, a lost patrol of a lost patrol. Larisa Shepitko’s movie starts off among a group of partisans, old folks, sick people and children out in the snow with nothing to eat except the handful of grain they are sharing out among themselves. They are forlorn, adrift, and will soon be dead, unless the two scouts sent out from the group come back … Read more