Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Sight & Sound Challenge: Come and See (1985)

Film: Come and See (207/250) 
First Time/Rewatch: First Time

Good god, that was depressing. Like, curl up in the fetal position under a blanket and wait for the end of the world depressing. This story of a boy joining the Soviet resistance movement in World War II is brutal and horrifying, as a story like that must be. He witnesses unspeakable atrocities, suffers real physical and emotional trauma, and barely resembles a human being by the end of it. He seems to turn into an old man before our eyes, shaken and numb. I can't imagine what the set of this film was like; I even read an account that the young teenage actor's hair turned gray just from the stress of making this film. How many lives were destroyed by actually existing in this war? In all the wars? Sitting there watching this film in the relative comfort of my home, not feeling cold or hungry or fearing for my life, I felt so incredibly sad for all of the children that are casualties of this cruel world. Of all the war films I've seen, this one felt the most visceral. It didn't feel like I was watching actors. I felt like I was watching someone's real tortured memory. That's what makes this more horrible than any horror film. This all really happened, and not even the film's memorable ending can undo it. The film's title couldn't possibly be more fitting, taken from the Bible's Book of Revelation:
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."

Isn't that what war is?

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