The Ascent

The Ascent

Directed by Larisa Shepitko • 1977 • Soviet Union

Shepitko's emotionally overwhelming final film 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.

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The Ascent
  • More than Love

    This 2012 program exploring the relationship between filmmakers Larisa Shepitko and Elem Klimov was broadcast on the Russian television channel Kultura and features interviews with Klimov’s brother, the writer German Klimov, and screenwriter Natalya Ryazantseva.

Extras

  • Islands

    This 2012 program on the life and career of Larisa Shepitko was broadcast on the Russian television channel Kultura and features interviews with the director’s sister Emilia Tutina and son, Anton Klimov.

  • Talks with Larisa

    This 1999 program, broadcast on the Russian television channel Kultura, features an introduction by filmmaker Elem Klimov and film critic Irina Rubanova to an interview with director Larisa Shepitko that was recorded just after the 1978 Berlin International Film Festival.

  • Larisa

    Director Larisa Shepitko’s husband, Elem Klimov, made this short documentary a year after the death of his wife in 1979. Using footage from her films, including the last image she ever recorded, as well as voice recordings and photos, Klimov’s film is a loving tribute to his wife’s life and work.

  • The Homeland of Electricity

    An adaptation of a story by Andrei Platonov, this short film by Larisa Shepitko was created as part of a 1967 omnibus film entitled BEGINNING OF AN UNKNOWN ERA, commissioned to honor the fiftieth anniversary of the October Revolution. Soviet authorities deemed the depiction of the early Bolshevik...

  • Lyudmila Polyakova on THE ASCENT

    In the following interview, recorded in Moscow in October 2020, actor Lyudmila Polyakova discusses the production of THE ASCENT and director Larisa Shepitko’s impact on her career.

  • THE ASCENT Select-Scene Commentary

    In this program, created in 2020, film scholar Daniel Bird compares several scenes from THE ASCENT with their counterparts in Vasil Bykov’s 1970 novella “Sotnikov,” which inspired Larisa Shepitko’s film, and examines the way the film makes use of Alfred Schnittke’s score.

  • Anton Klimov on THE ASCENT

    In this introduction, recorded in September 2020, journalist Anton Klimov talks about the singular vision of his mother, director Larisa Shepitko, for THE ASCENT, and the devotion to her work of his father, filmmaker Elem Klimov.

  • The Ascent

    Directed by Larisa Shepitko • 1977 • Soviet Union

    Shepitko's emotionally overwhelming final film 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 ...

  • Introducing Larisa Shepitko

    Scholar Barbora Bartunkova discusses Larisa Shepitko’s singular vision and fearless, exploratory approach to filmmaking.