Elem Klimov

Active - 1964 - 1985  |   Born - Jul 9, 1933   |   Died - Oct 26, 2003   |   Genres - Drama, War, Comedy, Historical Film, Sports & Recreation

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Biography by Sandra Brennan

Russian filmmaker Elem Klimov's best known film in the West is the gripping, internationally acclaimed war drama Idi i Smotri/Come and See (1985), a film that simultaneously chronicles the rape of the Byelorussian people and their land by the Nazi invaders in 1943 and pays tribute to the strength and resilience of the Russian peasants who stood fast, determined to survive in the face of genocide. His earlier films were satires that criticized the communist state. In turn, his work was not appreciated by authorities. Klimov also directed a few sports docudramas. Another of his better known films is Agoniya/Rasputin (1975) a biography of the notorious rake in which Klimov blended old documentary footage with new dramatic, color scenes. The film was considered without point and was not released in the Soviet Union until 1981 at the Moscow Film Festival. His 1985 entry in the same festival, Come and See earned Klimov the Grand Prix. He was married to noted filmmaker Larisa Shepitko who died in 1979 while filming Farewell. He later finished the film for her and released it in 1981. During perestroika he was elected the First Secretary of the Filmmakers Union. He negotiated with American producers about the adaptation of Mikhail Bulgakov's cult novel Master and Margarita but the project failed to materialize.

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