• Soviet Union
  • 1976
  • 111 minutes
  • Black and White
  • 1.33:1
  • Russian
  •  

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.

Film Essays

Eclipse Series 11: Larisa Shepitko

By Michael Koresky August 11, 2008

Of all the dazzlingly talented filmmakers to emerge from the Soviet Union, Larisa Shepitko has remained one of the least widely known. While many of her film school contemporaries, including . . . Read more »

From the Eclipse Shelf


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Off to Telluride

September 03, 2010

The annual Telluride Film Festival is now under way, and, as usual, Criterion is there. Like every year, the festival programmers kept the official selections hush-hush in the weeks leading up . . . Read more »


Film Essays

Eclipse Series 11: Larisa Shepitko

By Michael Koresky August 11, 2008

Of all the dazzlingly talented filmmakers to emerge from the Soviet Union, Larisa Shepitko has remained one of the least widely known. While many of her film school contemporaries, including . . . Read more »