A rare look at World War II from the Soviet side, Come and See is based on the real-life experiences of Ales Adamovich, who fought with Russian partisans in Belarus in 1943, when the Nazis systematically torched over 600 villages and slaughtered their inhabitants.
Adamovich and director Elem Klimov co-authored the screenplay, which shows the horrors through the eyes of a 13-year-old peasant boy named Florya (Alexei Kravchenko). Over his single mother's protests, he joins the partisans, but they leave him behind in their camp when they set off to fight the Germans.
Glascha (Olga Mironova), a lovely young girl, befriends him, but the two are caught in the midst of an air raid which leaves Florya nearly deaf. Now utterly frightened, Florya and Glascha return to his village to find it in ruins, and, in one of the film's many harrowing scenes, they wade through a swamp to locate the survivors.
Now committed to seek vengeance for the death of his mother and neighbors, Florya returns to the front, but finds himself in a village that's right in the path of the Nazi firestorm. A band of partisans arrive too late to save the village but in time to capture and mete out justice to several of the Nazi officers.
Awarded the Grand Prix at the 1985 Moscow Film Festival, Come and See is notable as an honest and unflinching portrait of one of the darker chapters among many in the history of the World War II.