The Ascent (Blu-ray) UK Criterion


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.

1 in stock

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