Colin the dude’s review published on Letterboxd:
Like Come and See after it or Bergman before it, The Ascent has power to put things into a perspective that a modern audience couldn't possibly conclude on their own. The way this war story reveals itself is a wholly unique and deeply personal journey of unfathomable depths.
Shot in stark black and white, the film is covered front to back in blinding snow and frozen land, as if time has numbed itself to the disgraceful loss of human dignity. This distraught existence has long been accepted once we meet the two principal characters in the opening sequence. The characters have accepted imminent defeat and eventual death long before the bad things even begin. Suffice to say, the final moments are bleeding with a maddening personal torment that left me broken. Like Come and See, the moments of dropped audio and music cues feel like wrecking balls to the head. The power of the medium is in these simplicities.