A boy is unwillingly thrust into the atrocities of war in WWII Byelorussia, fighting for a hopelessly unequipped resistance movement against the ruthless German forces. Witnessing scenes of abject terror and accidentally surviving horrifying situations he loses his innocence and then his mind.
A feature by Elem Klimov made from the script by Ales Adamovich. It was released in 1985 and ranks among the most horrifying war films. It`s not only about the war of 1941-1945 exactly, but about any war, its devastating force sweeping away the natural course of things.
The film is based upon documentary facts and `The Khatyn Story` by Ales Adamovich. The authors describe the place and events which became a symbol of national tragedy. The hero of the film is Flyora, a sixteen-year-old boy that turned to the woods to help the partisans. At the beginning he is just a kid. Then he lives through the horror of the Nazi executions and becomes amazingly grown-up, and even old. The war had distorted the once tender childish facial features - it`s all wrinkles now. The altered face of Flyora is the face of War.
The authors were so true-to-life, uncompromising and austere as to portray in the centre of the film not some grown-up man, but an inexperienced kid with his childhood still here.
Awards: Grand Special Prize at the All-Union FF, 1986; Prize of the All-Union FF for camera work, 1986; Prize of the All-Union FF for sound work, 1986; Prize of the All-Union FF to the composer, 1986