Screencap from the film's trailer, February 17, 2018 - Marco Santos/Youtube Channel
CAIRO – 17 February 2018:The 1985 Russian war drama 'Come and See' by director Elem Klimov will be screening at ROOM Art Space & Café on February Sunday as part of its 'Film and Coffee Night' program.
Acclaimed American critic Roger Ebert dubbed this movie as "one of the most devastating films ever about anything", and it's easy to see why even from a cursory reading of its plotline.
Taking place during the outbreak of World War II in 1943, it is set in the territory of what is now Belarus, where a young year old boy named Florya (Alexi Kravchenko) forsakes his childhood innocence to join the war effort after he digs up a rifle, unaware of what is to come as the Nazis invade.
Left behind by the troops in a forest, Florya comes across a young girl named Glasha (Olga Mironova), who he accompanies back to his village where Florya discovers his entire family has been massacred. There is nothing left but despair as the once happy boy succumbs to madness, but throughout it all Florya refuses to die, his sheer powerlessness against the marching Nazis his only hope of survival.
It took eight years of attempting to get approval before the film could be released in 1985, where it quickly became a wild success through the Soviet Union, collecting around 29 million tickets. Audiences were so shocked by the ruthless psychological horror of the film that several of them needed treatment. The film inspired generations of Russian and international filmmakers, seeing it as the prime example of how the evil of war should be portrayed. 'Come and See' was selected to be a nominee at the 58th Academy Awards, but didn't get into the selection.
ROOM Art Space & Café is an 'ever-evolving' unique contemporary art space and café located in Garden City, Cairo that aims to provide a place for both performers and audiences to come together and exchange ideas freely.