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"And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him."
Revelation 6:7-8, shown in the titles
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Come and See (Russian: Иди и смотри, Idi i Smotri) is a 1985 Soviet war drama about World War II. It is loosely based on the 1978 novel I Am From the Fiery Village by Ales Adamovich, who also co-wrote the screenplay.

We follow Flyora, an adolescent Belarusian villager who achieves his dream of joining the local partisans in the fight against the invading Nazis. However, he quickly finds out that War Is Hell and embarks on a nightmarish journey through wartime tragedies and Nazi atrocities. Will he make it through with his life, and more importantly, with his sanity?

A joint Mosfilm-Belarusfilm production, the film was added to the The Criterion Collection and released on June 30, 2020.


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This film provides examples of:

  • Adaptation Title Change: The film is loosely based on I Am From the Fiery Village.
  • Affably Evil: One of the Nazis ransacking the house in the village is amiable and cracks jokes. When he finds a child hiding under a bench, he snarks, "Partisan!" and gently deposits the kid with the others. Then he steals a pocket watch. He's a Nazi, remember?
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg:
    • The leading Nazi officer at the end tries all the tricks in the book to have his life spared, even after his nightmarish crimes. The Soviet officer doesn't buy it for a second.
    • The Slavic collaborators try the same thing, growing more and more desperate when it's obvious they will share the same fate as the Nazis.
  • All for Nothing: The mission to steal a cow for the starving refugee camp. Literally everyone but Flyora gets killed on the way, including the cow, and Flyora gets captured by the Nazis.
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  • Army of Thieves and Whores: The invading German army is revealed at the end to be an Einsatzgruppe, a Nazi death squad whose sole purpose is to commit war crimes. This is why they seem to spend so much of their time and energy committing atrocities on civilians rather than fighting the Allies. Their massacre of Perekhody has the atmosphere of a deranged carnival, as the soldiers get drunk and cavort about, setting fire to every building and raping every woman they get their hands on. The depiction is based on the Dirlewanger Brigade, led by the psychopathic Oskar Dirlewanger and composed mostly of temporarily released criminals who disgusted even other SS units with their behavior.
  • As the Good Book Says...: The title of the film comes from Revelation, chapter 6, where the phrase is repeated by the Four Living Creatures when the first four of the Seven Seals are opened and the horsemen of the Apocalypse are released.
  • Atrocity Montage: The main protagonist Flyora, a young soldier, encounters the horrors of war that shatter his innocence into a Shell-Shocked Veteran such as the massacre of the Belarusian village by the SS Einsatzgruppen. These are punctuated by the unsettling, hallucinatory cinematography and the fact these atrocities happened in actual history.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Flyora stumbles across a beautiful Nazi girl, critically wounded after her vehicle crashed. Flyora spots some bandages and picks them up... and in the next scene bandages his broken rifle stock.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For:
    • The film starts with Flyora as a gung-ho volunteer, eager to fight the invading Germans. As the film progresses, we follow his transformation as he experiences the horrific realities of war.
    • When the partisans come to Flyora's village to recruit him, they are disguised as German soldiers, and the villagers greet them with food. Likewise, when the Einsatzgruppe arrives in Perekhody later in the film, a few of the inhabitants welcome them as liberators, believing that they will take them to Germany.
    • The "Little Policeman" is the SS brigade's resident chew toy. He's mercilessly teased and bullied by the other soldiers, who rightly view him as an opportunist and an annoying try-hard. Despite this, he's constantly trying to suck up to them in an attempt to be seen as a respectable Aryan like them. He's mortified when he ends up joining them in front of the partisan firing squad at the end despite them not considering him a fellow Aryan.
    • In the last scene, when the Russian collaborator asks for a match, he is actually yelling "Fire!" The partisans oblige his request.
  • Big Brother Mentor: Roubej somewhat acts as one to Flyora.
  • Big Good: Kosach
  • Bittersweet Ending: The Nazis have committed horrible atrocities against the Belarusian people. Flyora has lost everyone he loves and suffered unimaginable trauma. However, in the end, the death squad is killed to the man. The partisans resist the urge to stoop to the death squad's level of brutality, showing that they have retained their humanity even in the face of such evil. Flyora balks at the thought of killing an infant Hitler, showing that he too has maintained his humanity. He joins the rest of the partisans to continue the fight.
  • Blatant Lies: The death squad commander says that he's never killed anyone and would never hurt a fly. He says this while the village he just slaughtered and razed is still aflame. The translator even assures the incredulous partisans that this is indeed what the man is claiming.
  • Boisterous Weakling:
    • The Nazi troops revel in the cruelty they inflict on the Belarusian villagers, all the while mocking them for their supposed genetic inferiority. When they go up against Kosach's partisans rather than the scared, defenseless civilians they're used to terrorizing, they get slain to a man. This is Truth in Television, as these types of death squads were intended to sow terror amongst civilians rather than fight organized resistance effectively and were little more than psychotic rabble.
    • The "Little Policeman" is an extremely small Nazi collaborator who is the loudest and most aggressive member of the group, but he's also the victim of the others' constant abuse.
  • Bookends: Near the start of the film, the local partisans have an impromptu photo-shoot. Towards the end, the Nazis have one as well, in what would become of the film's most iconic scenes.
  • Break the Cutie: Flyora may be one of the most comprehensive examples in cinema, going from a bright-eyed young boy eager to defend his country to a haunted, withered husk of a human being over the course of the film.
  • Breather Episode: Downplayed with Flyora and Roubej's scouting mission. It's still a tense sequence that sees two side characters blown apart by landmines, but contains more humor than anywhere else in the film.
  • Brown Note: Infrasonics and low-frequency sounds were used during the more disturbing scenes.
  • By the Hair: In the village massacre, we see a young woman being dragged around by her hair.
  • Child Soldiers: Flyora joins the partisans despite being in his adolescence.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Almost literally! In the very first scene of the film, Flyora digs up an SVT-40 rifle from the sand in preparation for joining the partisans and carries it with him for the rest of the film. He is continually denied opportunities to use it, until the very last scene where he unloads a full magazine into a portrait of Hitler, bringing the theme of the film full circle.
  • Classical Anti-Hero: A big part of why the film so thoroughly averts Do Not Do This Cool Thing; Flyora is a completely ordinary teenage boy who never does anything badass or even heroic. The best he can do under the circumstances is merely try to survive, which is true of the vast, vast majority of those forced to live through war.
  • Les Collaborateurs:
  • Colonel Badass: Kosach, leader of the local partisans. Though he doesn't receive much screen-time, he's shown to be an unflappable, stalwart soldier.
  • Complete-the-Quote Title: The title is part of the famous quote from "Revelation."
  • Cool Old Guy: The old man from Perekhody who tries to protect Flyora from the Nazis by passing him off as a family member. He does this despite having caught Flyora attempting to steal his horse. Perhaps he can't bear the thought of leaving a young teenager out in the open at the mercy of the SS brigade.
  • Crapsack World: Byelorussia during WW2.
  • Creepy Child: Some of Flyora's behavior and mannerisms at the beginning of the movie seem unnatural if not somewhat eerie. As the film progresses and Flyora witnesses atrocity after atrocity, he begins to rapidly age. By the end of the movie, his hair has turned grey and he looks disheveled and grotesque.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: The Nazis have a habit of burning people alive. First it happens to the old man from Flyora's village, and then it happens to the whole village of Perekhody. The partisans prepare to do the same to the remaining death squad members, but ultimately shoot them instead.
  • Cruel Mercy:
    • Flyora is spared from being shot in the head after the Nazis use him for a photo opportunity. But given what he had just witnessed, death would've been a welcome relief.
    • The woman who was dragged by her hair to be brutally raped offscreen while watching her little boy be killed is later dumped on the side of the road, catatonic and mentally broken.
    • Three Nazis spare a senile old woman while slaughtering the rest of the village. They leave her in her bed outdoors with no one left alive to care for her, almost certainly to die of exposure. She doesn't even seem to understand what's going on.
  • Deconstruction: This movie is one big sledgehammer to the ideal of resistance. Flyora isn't a brave hero, but a scared kid trying to survive in a hellish war zone. The only vaguely heroic thing Flyora does is balk at the idea of killing Hitler as an infant. On the other hand, the film also shows how not resisting in the fact of such atrocity can be suicidal or wasting whatever opportunity one might have to make some kind of difference. Ultimately, the deconstruction shows that there is nothing inherently right or glorious about resistance or compliance, and when War Is Hell, it can be impossible for a given person to know the right answer.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Flyora's younger friend has a lot more screen time than he does in the first scene, suggesting that the younger boy is the main character. Once Flyora finds a rifle, however, the film permanently switches to focusing on him.
  • Defiant to the End: In stark contrast to his superior, the SS-Obersturmfuhrer doesn't try to convince the partisans to spare his life. He indulges in an Ax-Crazy monologue about how his captors are an inferior race who must be exterminated to prevent the spread the disease of communism. This is used to demonstrate how monstrous he is..
  • Did Not Get the Girl: While there's some budding attraction between Flyora and Glasha, it should go without saying that the traumas inflicted on them both put an end to any idea of romance.
  • Dirty Coward: The SS-Sturmbannfuhrer and Gezhel the collaborator both beg shamelessly for their lives, earning the ire of a lesser officer who is Defiant to the End.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: The Germans kill almost every man, woman, and child in Perekhody because a villager had insulted a German soldier earlier that morning.
  • Doomed Hometown: Flyora's home village, where his mother and sisters are killed. Glasha sees the corpses but doesn't tell him about it, and he insists that they've gone to a nearby island. The illusion doesn't last long. There are indeed survivors on the island, but Flyora's family isn't there.
  • Drone of Dread: The score frequently features an ominous droning sound. Various diegetic sounds such as airplane engines and the ringing in Flyora's ears from an explosion are used for this effect as well.
  • Dumb Struck:
    • The traumatized blond girl after being gang-raped by the soldiers wanders around in a catatonic state and blowing a pan flute left by the Germans.
    • Flyora doesn't speak for a while after getting rescued by the partisans.
  • Empathy Doll Shot: When Flyora leads Glasha back to his mother's house, the first sign that something terrible has happened is that his twin sisters' dolls are scattered across the floor.
  • The Enemy Weapons Are Better: The partisan who comes to recruit Flyora is carrying around entirely German gear, presumably captured in the field. It causes a minor Jump Scare when he taps on the window and the viewer thinks he's a Nazi at first. Later on, some of the native SS collaborators are shown wielding Soviet weaponry.
  • Establishing Character Moment: The first time Flyora sees the SS soldiers is when they're jumping out of a truck in the distance while half-concealed by the morning fog, all of which is accompanied by an eerie mechanical whistling sound. The fact that they're black silhouettes coming out of the mist gives them an appropriately demonic presence, like they're the legions of Hell emerging from the underworld.
  • Evil Is Hammy: The fat German who guffaws with laughter when he's done roasting the poor civilians with his flamethrower. The uniformed Nazi girl who smiles lasciviously and slowly eats lobster while watching the horrific massacre also counts.
  • Evil Old Folks: The SS commander is an old man. When he's captured, he tries to pass himself off as a harmless grandpa with no control over his men, much to the disgust of everyone in earshot.
  • Failed a Spot Check: When his village appears to be deserted, Flyora thinks they must be hiding on a nearby island and runs off to find them, straight past the bodies of the villagers that are piled behind a house.
  • Feeling Oppressed by Their Existence: The Obersturmfuhrer in the end asserts that Slavs have no right to exist, and so the Germans will exterminate them.
  • Final Solution: The death squad is slaughtering every village they come across as part of the Nazi Final Solution to wipe all "lesser" races off the face of the Earth.
  • Foreshadowing: When Flyora looks down into the well in his hometown, we get a quick shot of his reflection in the water. His hair is clipped short.
  • For the Evulz: The death squad was going to kill the whole village anyway, but they turn it into a prolonged and sadistic game. This is basically their whole raison d'etre.
  • Guilt-Ridden Accomplice: One SS soldier wipes away tears as he guns down the women and children of Perekhody. Another is shown vomiting after the massacre - although that may just be because he's drunk.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Despite being a safe source of Nightmare Fuel, the director made a point of not showing gratuitous violence as most war films do, saying that if he did no one would bear to look at it. The atmosphere and plot make the real nightmare.
  • Harmful to Minors: The horrible experiences during the war take their toll on Flyora. By the end of the film, he has bags under his eyes and greying hair.
  • Hate Sink: Of all of the SS soldiers, the blonde Obersturmfuhrer is the most utterly sick and repulsive. When the people are rounded up to be burned in the church, he smugly announces that they either die themselves or sacrifice their children. Before his execution, he defiantly states that the massacre was justified and that sub-humans don't deserve to exist.
  • Hats Off to the Dead: One of the Belarusian prisoners tries to do this by taking off his hat as the women and children of Perekhody are burning before him, but an SS soldier replaces it with his own helmet to mock him and, by extension, the dying villagers.
  • Helpless Observer Protagonist: Flyora Gaishun is an ordinary teenage boy in occupied Belarus in World War II who is dragged against his will into the war and can only bear witness to the most depraved atrocities of Nazi Germany while powerless to do anything. The film's Signature Scene involves him being held at gunpoint and Forced to Watch as the SS burns down a church full of women and children.
  • Heroes' Frontier Step: Flyora spends much of the story becoming a horribly disheveled wretch who endures one tragedy after another. The next-to-last shot of the film shows him balking at killing baby Hitler, showing that while Flyora lost his innocence, he still retained his humanity.
  • Heroic BSoD: Flyora basically spends the majority of the film going through one of these.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: At the end of the film, the surviving partisans readily give in to brutality and are prepared to burn the captured Nazis alive. Even Flyora hands them a tank of gasoline without hesitation. This is subverted at the last second when they machine gun them instead. The final montage of historical footage shows that, unlike the Germans, Flyora would not stoop to killing children, even one that would grow up to be Hitler.
  • Horsemen of the Apocalypse: The title itself is a reference to the Horsemen's arrival. During the movie, there's no lack of scenes dealing with illness, violence, hunger and, obviously, death.
  • I Have a Family: When captured by the partisans, the SS-Sturmbannfuhrer tries this excuse, along with Nothing Personal, to escape punishment. It doesn't work.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: Flyora badly wants to be a war hero, which is why he disobeys his mother's advice and joins the partisans.
  • If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him!: Implied by the partisans' ultimate decision not to burn the death squad prisoners alive and mercifully shoot them instead. Also Flyora's decision not to symbolically shoot the baby Hitler.
  • Ironic Echo: When Flyora sees the gang-raped girl (which bears a striking resemblance to Glasha), he repeats Glasha's line ("To love, have children...") with their meaning now horribly subverted since she is a catatonic vegetable.
  • Jump Scare: The muted tone of most of the film gives the occasional mine explosion this effect.
  • Karmic Death: The SS brigade that burned Perekhody is massacred shortly afterwards in an ambush by Kosach's partisans, and their leaders are executed via machine gun fire underneath a railroad bridge.
  • Kill 'Em All: Most characters in the film die, including whole villages.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: The death squad like to burn their victims alive. When they're about to be executed, a partisan insists that shooting is too merciful, so they prepare to burn them alive. At the last moment, several partisans decide to just shoot them anyway.
  • Les Collaborateurs: The Nazis are accompanied by Soviet defectors who decided to side with them to avoid being killed. They're treated like punching bags by the Nazis and get executed by the Soviet partisans when they're captured.
  • Magic Realism: Several sequences are implausible and downright surreal, and intentionally so.
  • Mature Work, Child Protagonists: It revolves around a boy of about fourteen who joins a group of partisans opposing the Nazis. It's widely considered one of the most disturbing and unflinching portrayals of war and its negative effects ever put to film.
  • Mercy Kill: Rather than Pay Evil unto Evil on the Nazis by dousing them in gasoline and burning them alive, the partisans just shoot them with machine guns.
  • Mind Screw: Many scenes have a hallucinatory edge to them. In particular, the final sequence in which Flyora finds a framed photo of Adolf Hitler in the mud, and begins shooting it, reversing time in archive footage until it rewinds all the way to a photograph of Hitler as a baby. Flyora ultimately decides not to shoot the baby Hitler.
  • Misplaced Wildlife: Done intentionally to create a surreal atmosphere. Flyora encounters a stork wandering around the Belarusian woods. Later, the Nazi commander has a pet loris.
  • New Meat: Flyora is just a kid who's never fired a rifle before in his life, and so Kosach assigns him to nonessential tasks like scrubbing cooking pots. Flyora is frustrated and hurt by this because he wants to fight the Germans. It's implied they do this to protect him from the horrors of the war.
  • The Napoleon: The "Little Policeman" character is the shortest of all the native SS collaborators. He's also very loud and boastful about his hatred for non-Aryans, which is probably a feeble attempt to ingratiate himself to the other soldiers.
  • Nothing Personal: Among the many cards the old Nazi officer tries to pull after he is captured is claiming he has no beef with the Soviets as a people. Predictably, this doesn't work.
  • Not Worth Killing:
    • After gang raping her to their hearts' content, the Nazis just dump a woman on the road, not bothering to finish her off.
    • After the Nazis' photo with Flyora, they just walk off and leave him behind. As the death squad marches out the few survivors they've taken prisoner, one last member on a motorcycle spots Flyora collapsed in the burnt-out village. The Nazi kicks him once and snaps, "Hey!" But when Flyora doesn't respond, he simply drives away, not bothering to either force him to join the others or kill him.
  • Obliviously Evil: The SS-Sturmbannfuhrer sincerely sees himself as an innocent victim of La Résistance.
  • Ominous Fog: The most horrific part of a pretty horrifying movie comes a little more than halfway through when the SS rolls into a village on a misty morning thickly bound with fog.
  • The Ophelia: Glasha manages to switch from pretty but unsettling to merely creepy.
  • Orchestral Bombing: The film uses Mozart to this effect at several points, such as shortly before the Perekhody massacre.
  • Orphan's Ordeal: When Flyora tries to reach his mother and sister once again, he finds out his village has been burned down and now he has to provide for himself for good.
  • Paper Tiger: The Nazis are terrifying and incredibly brutal when going against unarmed villagers who can't fight back. Then they get drunk and when they run into La Résistance who utterly kick their asses.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Subverted. After the partisans capture the SS commanders, Kosach orders them to be burned alive where they stand, but the assembled partisans simply machine gun them to death instead.
  • Pinball Protagonist: Flyora barely affects the plot, instead being bounced from one traumatic event to another as he tries merely to survive the horrors of World War II.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Midway through the film, a bomber plane drops leaflets telling local Slavs to kill the "Bolshevik kikes." The antisemitic remarks have no effect on Rubezh. Later a captured SS-Obersturmfuhrer goes on an unhinged rant about how some races have no right to exist.
  • P.O.V. Shot: A number of scenes are filmed from the perspective of a character, which goes hand-in-hand with the number of times characters look directly into the camera. The robbery of the collaborating farmer is filmed from Rubezh's perspective. We see his gun extending out from the bottom of the frame.
  • Psychological Horror: The movie uses sound and disturbing imagery to create an unsettling atmosphere.
  • Psycho Supporter: Even compared to the other native SS collaborators, the "Little Policeman" character is especially gleeful about reveling in the slaughter of Perekhody's villagers.
  • Quicksand Sucks: Flyora insists on plunging into a swamp to get to the safety of "the island," but the mud almost consumes them before they reach solid land.
  • Rape as Drama: Heavily implied to happen to the mother who was dragged away from the barn at the end.
  • Rape, Pillage, and Burn: This is the whole point of the Einsatzgruppen, who do indeed rape, pillage, burn and then slaughter a whole village.
  • "Ray of Hope" Ending: Flyora, now a thoroughly shell-shocked husk of his former self, blends into a crowd of his fellow partisans, marching off to fight another battle. However, the patriotic music then swells at this point, indicating that the invaders will eventually be driven back. His refusal to kill baby Hitler shows that while he has lost his innocence, he has retained his humanity.
  • La Résistance: The Belarusian partisans, led by a Red Army veteran who Glasha is sleeping with. Deconstructed, however; even in a 100% justified war with an unambiguously good side fighting for survival against an evil genocidal invader, the war is miserable, dehumanizing and destroys their sanity.
  • Right-Hand Cat: The Sturmbannfuhrer has a pet loris that snuggles his shoulder while he coolly oversees a genocide. The ostentatiousness of the pet makes him even more unlikable.
  • Sadistic Choice: When the Nazis herd the poor Belarusian villagers into their church and shut them in, the SS-Obersturmfuhrer then calmly gives the villagers a choice — climb out of the open window if you can, but leave your kids behind to die. Most of them answer only with stubborn silence and stay where they are. The church is burned down.
  • Sanity Slippage: Flyora and Glasha are both driven to the brink of madness by their experiences.
  • Scenery Gorn: The result of having War Is Hell depicted through burnt-down villages, mass killings in the woods, creepy swamps and sudden bombings from the peaceful blue sky.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: By the middle of the movie, twelve-year-old Flyora is one himself.
  • Shell-Shock Silence: One of the longest examples in cinema history, after Flyora is caught in a German artillery bombardment.
  • Smitten Teenage Girl: Glasha for Kosach. Flyora meets her as she pines away for him in the forest.
  • Smug Snake: The Obersturmfuhrer acts this way when he gives the villagers their ultimatum, where he's stoic for the most part but he's clearly taking pleasure in torment he's putting them through.
  • The Snack Is More Interesting:
    • A death squad member drags a Belarussian woman toward a rape-van but pauses so that a buddy can light his cigarette.
    • The female member of the death squad watches the slaughter while dining on lobster. A scene later, she's seen mortally wounded, with streaks of vomit trailing down each side of her mouth.
  • Sole Survivor: Flyora repeatedly finds himself in this situation; first for his village, then the scouting mission, then for Perekhody.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Used in several scenes, such as when the Nazis blast fun ragtime music as they rape, torture, and murder the people of Perekhody.
  • The Squadette:
    • A number of female partisans are visible throughout the film, although none have lines.
    • The death squad includes one beautiful woman who spends the massacre casually eating lobster.
  • Stuka Scream: Played straight during the bombing run on the partisan camp. Subverted in a later instance where we hear the distinctive sound of a bomb falling, causing Roubej and Flyora to dive for cover, only for the "bomb" to be an empty whiskey bottle that the German pilot tossed out the window.
  • Stupid Evil:
    • A Nazi plane dumps boxes of leaflets over Belarus with a curt, blunt demand for Slavs to "kill the Bolshevik kikes." Reading the propaganda, the partisan Rubezh just scratches his head wondering why they would go to such trouble to drop such a stupid message.
    • The Nazi death squad has a ball getting drunk and razing a village. They then run right smack into a unit of partisans and get slaughtered to a man.
  • Surreal Horror: Despite being actually a war film and avoiding to show the most gruesome scenes, it managed to be classified as one of the most horrific films ever for its surrealistic and nightmarish atmosphere in depicting the horror of war. It even got ranked #76 in the Time Out 100 Best Horror Films.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: After herding a whole village into a church, the Nazi death squad hurls grenades through the windows, sets fire to the building, unload their machine guns into the building, and then torch the remains with flamethrowers. You'd think that this is a waste of resources, but as a death squad, this is exactly their purpose.
  • Through the Eyes of Madness: Implied through some of the film's more surreal touches, like the Misplaced Wildlife.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Downplayed with Flyora, as he becomes understandably more sullen and hostile over the course of the film, at one point even attempting to rob an innocent farmer at gunpoint. Despite this, though, he never uses his gun on another human being and ends the film with some of his humanity intact.
  • Trading Bars for Stripes: During the introductory scene of the "Little Policeman" character (when he grabs Flyora's face and throws him to the ground), it's shown very briefly that his forearms are covered in what look like prison tattoos. This implies that he was a criminal of some description who joined the Waffen-SS for opportunistic reasons, not unlike many of the ex-convict collaborators who aided the Dirlewanger brigade in real life.
  • Tranquil Fury: The Soviet officer behaves this way toward the captured Germans: his face is utterly cold and calm, but he's very clear that they will pay for what they've done.
  • Tsundere: Glasha, who mocks and belittles Flyora, but also seems to like him.
  • Uncertain Doom: It's mentioned that Flyora's father had gone out to fight in the war before him, but he's not seen in the movie himself, and considering the brutality of the war there's a good chance he's not alive any more. Though if he is, it certainly makes Flyora's situation less horrible.
  • Villainous Breakdown: After he finishes translating the psychotic rant of the Obersturmfuhrer, Gezhel starts panicking when it becomes clear that the partisans don't intend to spare him despite his tearful pleas that he's not a German. Even though those weren't his words, the fact that he willingly took orders from the Obersturmfuhrer (despite being one of the "subhumans" the Obersturmfuhrer says doesn't deserve to exist) is more than enough to seal his fate.
  • Villains Never Lie: Played for Horror, the SS-Obersturmfuhrer tells the villagers in the barn that they can escape if they leave their children behind. The two who escape are Flyora and a young mother with her child. The Nazis hurl the child back inside and drag the woman by the hair to a truck where they do... things to her and dump her on the side of the road afterwards. They also drag Flyora around and hold a gun to his head for a photoshoot, and then just dump him in the middle of the village and go. But Flyora and the woman are alive though they might wish they weren't.
  • Villainous Valor: A thoroughly unsympathetic case that's Played for Horror. The blonde SS-Obersturmfuhrer shows no fear when held at gunpoint by the Partisans, expresses disgust for his commander's cowardice, and uses his last breaths to furiously inform his captors that they are an inferior race that has no right to exist. Rather than making him a badass, the intention is more to show him as a rabid dog well beyond any possibility of redemption.
  • Violence Is Disturbing: Is it ever! Possibly a subversion, though, because surprisingly, for a film like this, there is not much actual violence shown onscreen. Instead, we're shown the reactions to violence, the aftermath of violence, or it cuts away before the violent act takes place. In an interview, the director jokes that if they had shown actual violence, then no one would have wanted to see such a movie.
  • War Is Hell: So very much, to the point it's arguably the best example of this trope put to film. What did you expect from a movie that quotes the Apocalypse in its title?
  • Wham Shot: When Flyora and Glasha begin running away from the village to find his family and the village's residents, Glasha looks back, and sees a pile of the residents' corpses stacked against the wall of a house.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • We don't actually see Glasha at all after Flyora leaves the refugee camp.
    • On a much lesser note, what happened to that Nazi's adorable loris?
  • Women Are Wiser: It's a female partisan with a medical armband who fires the first shots on the Nazi prisoners, preventing them from being burned alive and saving the partisans from stooping to the Nazis' level of cruelty.
  • Would Harm a Senior: The elderly of the village of Perekhody aren't spared, but a special mention goes to the Nazis who put an old and senile Babushka in her bed out in the open and abandon her to her fate. She apparently has no clue what's going on and would almost certainly die of exposure or from wild animals.
  • Would Hurt a Child:
    • Happens off-screen to Flyora's twin sisters.
    • The SS go out of their way to murder children, even telling the villagers of Perekhody that they can leave the church unharmed as long as they leave their children behind. When a mother escapes through the window with her young son, they proceed to toss the son back inside and then drag the mother off to be gang-raped. When they are later ambushed, the blonde SS-Obersturmfuhrer proudly proclaims that he targets children because "It's with children that it all begins".
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: Flyora, in one of the movie's most iconic scenes. He starts shooting a picture of Adolf Hitler, and each time he shoots, a cut shows the life of Hitler in reverse until it shows him as a baby. Flyora hesitates and decides to not shoot him.

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