Come And See

DVD Rating: ****1/2

Reviewed by: Anton Bitel

Read Anton Bitel's film review of Come And See
Come And See

This double-disc edition from Nouveaux Pictures features the film itself, digitally remastered from a restored print (in its original aspect ratio of 1.33:1), and with a choice of the original Russian/Belarus-language soundtrack (in 5.1 surround) with English subtitles, or an English dub (also in 5.1). It looks, and sounds, incredible.

Disc Two is packed with a comprehensive array of extras. In an excellent 20-minute interview, co-writer/director Elem Klimov discusses the seven year delay to the production, imposed by interfering authorities, who also insisted that the film's original title, Kill Hitler, be changed. He also relates how his fears that his young lead would be driven mad by all the on-set horrors encouraged him to hire a hypnotist for the actor.

Copy picture

Lead actor Alexei Kravchenko is still easily recognizable, despite no longer being a teenager. In fact, he looks much younger and healthier 20 years on than he does in the second half of the film. In a 13-minute interview, he describes how he was shown two hours of concentration camp footage immediately prior to his first audition with Klimov and adds that on-set he almost drowned in a quagmire and was nearly crushed to death by a cow that reared at the sound of gunfire. "Such," he says drily, "were my bright recollections of childhood."

There is also an eight minute interview with production designer Victor Petrov, who discusses DP Alexei Radionov's pioneering work with a steadicam, Klimov's crucial role over all aspects of production and the help received on-set from "God himself".

There are two black-and-white propaganda newsreels, the first (11min) glorifying the successful partisan resistance to the German occupation of Belorussia and the second (5min) documenting Nazi atrocities in Belorussia. Though rather distressing and far more graphic than anything seen on today's news, these are a fascinating companion piece to Come And See, confirming the factual base of the film's surreal horrors.

Finally there is a picture gallery and extensive filmographies of Klimov (including a brief interview with him about his previous film Agony), the DP Radionov, actors Vladas Bagdonas, Liubomiras Lauciavicius, Kravchenko, Yevgheny Tilicheyev, Victor Lorentz, production designer Petrov, co-writer Ales Adamovich and composer Oleg Yanchenko.

Reviewed on: 25 May 2006
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Come And See packshot
A young teenager witnesses the genocide by Nazis during the German occupation of Belorussia.
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Product Code: NPD1034

Region: 2

Ratio: 1.33:1

Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround

Extras: Interview with director; interview with lead actor; interview with production designer; War Chronicles 1 & 2; filmographies; picture gallery

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