Tag Archives: Vladimir Gostyukhin

Larisa Shepitko – Voskhozhdeniye AKA The Ascent (1977)

Two Soviet partisans on a mission to gather food contend with the winter cold, the occupying Germans, and their own psyches.

Letterboxd review by Lara Pop ★★★★½:
It rarely gets bleaker than The Ascent. Larisa Shepitko’s tale of perseverance in the face of imminent death surprised me on several counts. For the first half of the movie, I couldn’t figure out the significance of the title. If anything, Shepitko presents its exact opposite. The barren, snow-covered landscape, where death lurks in every grinding step man takes, devours the movie in its all-consuming white death. The shaky camera movement enhances every sound made in the white silence as the camera zooms in on man’s face and outlines the thin crust of ice scratching his cheek with its cold tendrils, stretching, reaching, with one goal in mind: to get to the innermost layer: the spirit; and to break it. It is a tableau of a frostbitten feast, an icy infusion of a deathly descent, straight into the vein. I couldn’t figure out why I was watching a film named its exact opposite. Read More »