DIRECTOR'S CUT / The sound of fury: Alex Cox on an anti-war rarity, Elem Klimov's Come and See

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The Independent Culture
At one point in Elem Klimov's Come and See, the 15-year-old partisan hero, played by Alexei Krauchenko, is caught in a pine forest during a Nazi bombing raid. The scene is an ecologist's nightmare - real trees are demolished by the score. But the most jarring element of the sequence is the sound: Krauchenko's ear-drums are ruptured by his proximity to the blasts, and for the next 10 minutes the soundtrack consists of a high-pitched screaming noise.

It is the only war film since All Quiet on the Western Front to make any real attempt to show violence at close quarters and its physical and psychological effects. It is a devastating sequence in a devastating film. Needless to say, it has little in common with the moral vacuum of Platoon or the aerial high- jinks of Memphis Belle. Come and See is that rare thing, a genuine anti-war film. Perhaps for that reason it is largely unknown over here.

Alex Cox's film 'Death and the Compass' plays in the BBC 2 ScreenPlay season next Wednesday at 9.30pm