Today: May 30, 2024

WIN! The Ascent on Criterion Blu-ray!

The crowning triumph of a career cut tragically short, the final film from LARISA SHEPITKO (Wings) won the Golden Bear at the 1977 Berlin Film Festival and went on to be hailed as one of the finest works of late-Soviet cinema. In the darkest days of World War II, two partisans set out for supplies to sustain their beleaguered outfit, braving the blizzard-swept landscape of Nazi-occupied Belarus. When they fall into the hands of German forces and come face-to-face with death, each must choose between martyrdom and betrayal, in a spiritual ordeal that lifts the film’s earthy drama to the plane of religious allegory. With stark, visceral cinematography that pits blinding white snow against pitch-black despair, The Ascent finds poetry and transcendence in the harrowing trials of war.
RUSSIA | 1977 | 109 MINUTES | BLACK & WHITE | 1.37:1 | RUSSIAN (WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES)
SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES

  • New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
  • New selected-scene commentary featuring film scholar Daniel Bird
  • New video introduction by Anton Klimov, son of director Larisa Shepitko and filmmaker Elem Klimov
  • New interview with actor Lyudmila Polyakova
  • The Homeland of Electricity, a 1967 short film by Shepitko
  • Larisa, a 1980 short film tribute to his late wife by Klimov
  • Two documentaries from 2012 about Shepitko’s life, work, and relationship with Klimov
  • Program from 1999 featuring an interview with Shepitko
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: An essay by poet Fanny Howe
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