The Frida Cinema

Orange County's Year-Round Film Festival

The Ascent

Soviet September moves along with The Ascent, a 1977 wartime drama from female Soviet filmmaker Larisa Shepitko.

Based on the novel Sotnikov by Vasil Bykaŭ, the film tells the story of two Soviet partisans who go to a Belarusian village in search of food. They head back to their unit but are spotted by two German patrol officers. After a gunfight, they get away but one is injured in the process, leading to the partisans’ capture and imprisonment in a German base.

The last film to be made by Sheptiko before her untimely death in a car accident, The Ascent won the Golden Bear award at the 1977 Berlin International Film Festival and remains highly regarded to this day.

The Frida Cinema is proud to partner with our friends at South East European Film Festival (SEEFest) to present Soviet September, a series of nine acclaimed films representing six decades of cinema from the former Soviet Union (1922 – 1991).  


“A masterfully crafted tale of guilt, bravery, endurance and deceit.” — Rob Aldam, Backseat Mafia

“A bona fide masterpiece.” — Michael J. Casey, Boulder Weekly

“A revelation. It calls to us from an unmitigated stasis that sees the act of war as the consequence of dangerous movements colliding inwards on each other.” — David Keyes, Cinemaphile.org