Melbourne Cinémathèque 2019 The Melbourne Cinémathèque & ACMI present

The Ascent

Unclassified 15+ Scroll to content

Winner of the Golden Bear at the 1977 Berlinale, Larisa Shepitko’s harrowing final film is a tale of betrayal and redemption with biblical overtones, playing out over a few days in Belarus, in midwinter, during World War II.

Two Soviet partisans wrestle with their consciences under extreme duress from their Nazi captors.

Shepitko, in adapting Vasil Bykov’s novella Sotnikov, went to great pains herself to transmit to the viewer something of their terrible physical and spiritual agonies, aided by Vladimir Chukhnov and Pavel Lebeshev’s stark black-and-white cinematography and a symphonic Alfred Schnittke score.      

35mm print courtesy of Contemporary Films.

During ACMI's redevelopment, Melbourne Cinémathèque screenings will take place at The Capitol. For maps and accessibility information see ACMI Cinemas during closure.