Come and See (1985 Film)
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Come and See (Rus. Иди и смотри) is a 1985 Soviet anti-war film directed by Elem Klimov and starring Aleksei Kravchenko, a Belorussian boy looking to join Soviet partisan forces during World War II. Widely considered one of the best anti-war films ever made, in 2020, the movie achieved virality in memes after it was released as a part of The Criterion Collection.
On July 9th, 1985, the Soviet anti-war film Come and See (Russian Иди и смотри) premiered. Directed by Elem Klimov, the film stars Aleksei Kravchenko as Flyora, a Belorussian boy seeking to join the Soviet partisans. Flyora is captured by Nazi forces and witnesses the horrors of war and human suffering, seeming to age and go grey rapidly as atrocities play out in front of his eyes.
The film mixes hyperrealism and surrealism and is known for its use of extreme close-up of faces, which show Flyora's raw emotions and the changes he undergoes after witnessing the horrors of war.
On June 30th, 2020, the film was then released as a part of The Criterion Collection, which served as a trigger point for its meme popularity online.
The film was met with largely positive responses upon release, drawing comparisons to Apocalypse Now, Schindler's List and other recognized war films. The movie achieved even more recognition from critics in the 21st century, with many praising Klimov's direction, and Come and See appearing on many lists of films considered the best.
In 2008, Come and See was placed at number 60 on Empire magazine's "The 500 Greatest Movies of All Time."
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film maintains a 97 percent average critic score based on 37 reviews, and a 95 percent audience score based on over 5,000 reviews. On IMDb, the film is rated 8.4 out of 10,000 based on over 82,000 reviews and ranks the 93rd highest-rated film on the site.
Use in Memes
On June 30th, 2020, Come and See was re-released as a part of The Criterion Collection. This was followed by an influx of discussions dedicated to the movie on 4chan's /tv/ board in the following weeks. For example, on July 5th, 2020, an anonymous user created a thread about the film that gained over 30 replies, many of them humorous, in roughly two years (shown below, left). Another thread was created on July 8th of that year, drawing over 50 replies in a similar timeframe (shown below, right).
In these and other early threads, the earliest memes referencing the film were shared. For example, on July 11th, 2020, a user posted a Sneed's Seed and Feed edit (shown below, left). On July 17th, a user posted an exploitable template based on a shot of a Nazi soldier leading distressed Flyora away from a barn about to be set on fire (shown below, center). The exploitable was then used to create humorous edits. For example, on June 4th, 2021, Twitter user @acczibit shared a Pink Wojak edit that gained over 50 retweets and 670 likes in one year (shown below, right).
The film maintained its presence in memes online in the following years, with Flyora's distressed expression gaining popularity as a reaction image.
 Wikipedia – Come and See
 Criterion – Come and See
 Empire – The 500 Greatest Movies of All Time
 Rotten Tomatoes – COME AND SEE
 IMDb – Come and See
 4plebs – /tv/ Thread #136105573
 4plebs – /tv/ Thread #136244133
 4plebs – /tv/ Thread #136352294
 4plebs – /tv/ Post #136630114
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