Larisa Shepitko

The Ascent

The Ascent

The crowning triumph of a career cut tragically short, the final film from Larisa Shepitko won the Golden Bear at the 1977 Berlin Film Festival and went on to be hailed as one of the finest works of late Soviet cinema. In the darkest days of World War II, two partisans set out for supplies to sustain their beleaguered outfit, braving the blizzard-swept landscape of Nazi-occupied Belorussia. When they fall into the hands of German forces and come face-to-face with death, each must choose between martyrdom and betrayal, in a spiritual ordeal that lifts the film’s earthy drama to the plane of religious allegory. With stark, visceral cinematography that pits blinding white snow against pitch-black despair, The Ascent finds poetry and transcendence in the harrowing trials of war.

Film Info

  • Soviet Union
  • 1977
  • 109 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 1.37:1
  • Russian
  • Spine #1063

Special Features

  • New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New selected-scene commentary featuring film scholar Daniel Bird
  • New video introduction by Anton Klimov, son of director Larisa Shepitko and filmmaker Elem Klimov
  • New interview with actor Lyudmila Polyakova
  • The Homeland of Electricity, a 1967 short film by Shepitko
  • Larisa, a 1980 short film tribute to Shepitko made after her death by her husband, Elem Klimov
  • Two documentaries from 2012 about Shepitko
  • Program from 1999 featuring an interview with Shepitko
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: An essay by poet Fanny Howe

    New cover by Century.Studio

Purchase Options

Collector's Sets

Collector's Set

Eclipse Series 11: Larisa Shepitko

Eclipse 11: Larisa Shepitko

DVD Box Set

2 Discs

$23.96

Special Features

  • New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New selected-scene commentary featuring film scholar Daniel Bird
  • New video introduction by Anton Klimov, son of director Larisa Shepitko and filmmaker Elem Klimov
  • New interview with actor Lyudmila Polyakova
  • The Homeland of Electricity, a 1967 short film by Shepitko
  • Larisa, a 1980 short film tribute to Shepitko made after her death by her husband, Elem Klimov
  • Two documentaries from 2012 about Shepitko
  • Program from 1999 featuring an interview with Shepitko
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: An essay by poet Fanny Howe

    New cover by Century.Studio
The Ascent
Cast
Boris Plotnikov
Sotnikov
Vladimir Gostyukhin
Rybak
Sergei Yakovlev
Village elder
Lyudmila Polyakova
Demchikha
Victoria Goldentul
Basya
Anatoly Solonitsyn
Portnov
Nikolai Sektimenko
Stas
Maria Vinogradova
Village elder’s wife
Credits
Director
Larisa Shepitko
Producer
Larisa Shepitko
Screenplay by
Yuri Klepikov
Larisa Shepitko
Based on the novella Sotnikov by
Vasil Bykov
Directors of photography
Vladimir Chukhnov
Pavel Lebeshev
Art direction
Yuri Raksha
Editor
Valeriya Belova
Music by
Alfred Schnittke

Current

The Ascent: Out in the Cold
The Ascent: Out in the Cold

Set against a forbidding backdrop of war, this masterpiece of Soviet cinema contemplates the sources of evil while also searching for signs of meaning and divinity in a fallen world.

By Fanny Howe

Eclipse Series 11: Larisa Shepitko
Eclipse Series 11: Larisa Shepitko
  WINGS: TAKING OFF 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 Andrei Tarkovsky, Sergei Parajanov…

By Michael Koresky

Pietro Marcello’s Top 10
Pietro Marcello’s Top 10

The director of Martin Eden chooses a selection of films dear to his heart, including classics that made a deep impression on him in childhood.

​Jon Dieringer’s Top 10
​Jon Dieringer’s Top 10

The founder of the website Screen Slate picks a selection of favorites, including an ’80s indie gem, shockers ranging from Eraserhead to Canoa, and two films that capture the “twilit feeling of childhood.”

Ben Wheatley’s Top 10
Ben Wheatley’s Top 10

Ben Wheatley is the director of Down Terrace, Kill List, Sightseers, and A Field in England.

James Schamus’s Top 10
James Schamus’s Top 10

James Schamus is the former CEO of Focus Features; the producer of, among other films, Ride with the Devil (1999) and Brokeback Mountain (2005); the screenwriter and producer of The Ice Storm (1997); and a professor of professional practice at Columb

Zola Jesus’s Top 10
Zola Jesus’s Top 10

Zola Jesus, née Nika Roza Danilova, is an internationally celebrated crafter of haunting electronic pop.