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The Ascent

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Director: Larisa Shepitko, Larisa Shepitko
1977 / 111min / DCP

The bloodthirsty and seemingly unstoppable Nazi war machine is on the march towards Moscow in Shepitko’s wrenching, snow-swept World War II drama, which begins with two Soviet peasant soldiers foraging for food in a Belarusian village and proceeds to tell an emotional, lyrical tale of loyalty and betrayal, partisanship and collaboration, and, ultimately, the possibility of transcendent redemption. Shepitko’s final feature, frequently cited as among the greatest of Soviet films, won the Golden Bear at the 1977 Berlin Film Festival, just two years before its director’s tragic death in a car accident at age 41.

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