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"The Ascent," directed by Larisa Shepitko and starring one of the

greatest film actors of any country or era, Anatoly Solonitsyn.
Not blood and gore. Not heroic action in a doomed cause. Rather, the savage whipsaw of cold-blooded betrayal, of psychological weakening and failure under sustained and brutal conditions.
Brilliantly acted, filmed, and written.
"The Red and the White," from Hungary, is a very, very close second.
Both are well worth seeking out as they both eschew creating heroic figures that, no matter what happens, still end up making war seem noble.


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