THEATER 1 Thu, Aug 29 8:00 PM
Film Info
Release Year:1977
Production Country:Soviet Union
Original Language:German
Cast/Crew Info
Director:Larisa Shepitko
Cast:Boris Plotnikov
Vladimir Gostyukhin
Sergey Yakovlev
Lyudmila Polyakova
Viktoriya Goldentul
Screenwriter:Yuri Klepikov
Larisa Shepitko


Despite her relatively short career (she directed only four feature films before her tragic death at age 41) Ukrainian-Soviet filmmaker Larisa Shepitko was a massive talent. Her first and final films are both profound works that intimately explore the resilience of man under extreme conditions. HEAT, set in rural Kazakhstan, focuses on the student Kemel, who arrives in the remote area to work at a communal farm camp. Young and idealistic, he is soon confronted with the challenges of rural life. (Shepitko suffered from hepatitis during production and had to direct from a stretcher—that real life difficulty is felt on screen.) Set in World War II, THE ASCENT—widely regarded as Shepitko’s masterpiece, and winner of the Golden Bear for Best Film at the 1977 Berlin Film Festival—follows two Soviet soldiers who are navigating the blindingly snow-covered Belarusian countryside to find food when they are captured by Nazis. While HEAT feels almost like a verite documentary and THE ASCENT is stunningly stylized, in both films Shepitko fearlessly confronts humanity in all its complexity.