And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, ‘Come and see.’ And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.
Recently I was watching a podcast by Alexander Mercouris, who with Alex Chritosforou makes up the Duran. The Duran deserves its own post, but suffice it to say they are the best source for geopolitical information and the analysis thereof, that I know. In this podcast, in response to a question, Mercouris named Come and See, the 1985 film by Elem Klimov, the best war film he has ever seen. Actually, he might have said anti-war film, but I could not relocate the segment in the massive four hour podcast. Anti-war because there are no battles or fighting depicted, just horror after horror.
The film (Come and See | WAR FILM | FULL MOVIE – YouTube) depicts events in Belarus in 1943 during the German occupation. It follows a young Florya, 14, when he goes off with the partisans. The details of the plot are secondary to the horror. There is the horror of bombardment (where Florya became almost deaf); the horror of returning to his village where everyone, including his mother and sisters, have been shot; the horror of seeing comrades blown up by stepping on mines and then seeing there body parts, the horror of being shot at by unseen troops killing his comrade and the cow they were stealing to feed starving villagers; the horror of witnessing the burning of a village and virtually all of the inhabitants; and the horror of seeing a young woman after being raped so many times she is in shock and blood is streaming down her legs.
This depiction of the Khatyn massacre, not to be confused with the Katyn Forest and the murder of Polish officers by the Soviets, is summed up at the end of the film with this statement, “628 villages burned to the ground with all of their inhabitants.” Wikipedia notes that the battalion that carried out the massacre depicted in the film “was composed of primarily Ukrainian nationalist Nazi collaborators and assisted by the Dirlewanger Waffen-SS special battalion.”
The film was made in Belarus near where these events actually occurred. There were no professional actors. It was written by Klimov with Ales Adamovich, who was about the same age as Florya when he had fought with the partisans. Epic films require epic film making. There was plenty of live fire and real explosions. Aleksei Kravchenko, who played Florya, was prepared by Klimov with a hypnotist to prevent him from going insane from all of the real deprivations he went through. Below are a series of screenshots of Kravchenko as he is transformed during the film.
Another symbolic transformation is Glasha, who Florya meets with the partisans, to the young women who had been gang raped. Glasha spoke of wanting love and children. Flyora repeats what Glasha had said about love and children when he is looking at the raped woman.
The innovative last scene shows Florya shooting his rifle for the first time at a photo of Hitler. Then newsreels of Hitler and his rise to power are shown in reverse chronological order and actually running in reverse. It is as if Florya is trying to go back in time to find and kill the origin of the horror which ends with this picture of the baby Hitler with his mother.
But for me the ultimate horror depicted in this film occurs near the end when the partisans have captured the perpetrators of the destruction of the village. The German commander is questioned. He has gotten rid of his uniform. He says he was forced to do this and, in effect, is just another victim. But there is another German officer accused of specifically ordering the murder of the children. He is disgusted by the cowardice of his commander. He is the most handsome, intelligent, articulate and courageous of anyone in the film. He explains why he ordered that the children should be killed. He explains everything.
Because all the trouble starts with kids. Your nation does not deserve to exist. Some nations have no right to a future. Listen. I want everybody to listen, all of you. Inferior races spread the communist contagion. Your nation does not deserve to exist. We will fulfill this objective. If not today then tomorrow.
This scene is horrific because, this was not one of the sadistic psychopaths that was surely among the killers. He was a well controlled, committed, elitist with an ideology.Today, as well as Russians, I could imagine this elite person speaking about the unvaccinated who spread contagions. Even more, it is every human being who is using up resources and even polluting directly by spewing out carbon dioxide that does not deserve to exist. This is the face of the typical WEF young leader who is making decisions about your life and the life of your kids.