Witnessing Change: Ukrainian Cinema in a Time of Turmoil
Screening Dates
  • February 9 (Friday) 8:45
  • February 17 (Saturday) 6:30
New Restoration

The Ascent dramatizes violence not through explosions and gunplay (the lone extended battle scene occurs as the opening credits roll), but through a claustral treatment of physiognomy, Vladimir Chukhnov and Pavel Lebeshev’s camerawork seemingly inspired by Carl Theodor Dreyer’s La passion de Jeanne d’Arc (1928).”

Zack Hatfield, Artforum

Larisa Shepitko’s emotionally overwhelming final film [completed two years before her untimely death at 41 in a car crash] won the Golden Bear at the 1977 Berlin Film Festival and has been hailed around the world as the finest Soviet film of its decade. Set during World War II’s darkest days, The Ascent follows the path of two peasant soldiers, cut off from their troop, who trudge through the snowy backwoods of Belarus seeking refuge among villagers. Their harrowing trek leads them on a journey of betrayal, heroism, and ultimate transcendence. —Janus Films

In Russian and German with English subtitles