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Elem Klimov
Birth: Jul. 9, 1933
Death: Oct. 26, 2003

Motion Picture Director, Administrator. One of a handful of gifted Soviet filmakers to emerge from the post-Stalinist "thaw" of the early 1960s. His originality did not please the Communist establishment and he was able to direct only five features. Klimov's masterpiece, "Come and See" (1985), has been ranked among the greatest of war films. Set in Nazi-occupied Belarus in 1943, it is a shattering study of a 13 year-old boy witnessing the worst mankind has to offer while tagging along with a half-starved Russian partisan unit. It won the Grand Prize at the Moscow Film Festival and is said to have influenced Steven Spielberg's "Schindler's List" and "Saving Private Ryan". Elem Germanovich Klimov was born in Stalingrad (now Volgograd), USSR. As a child during World War II he survived the German siege of that city, an experience that would provide the emotional impetus for "Come and See". From 1957 to 1962 he studied at the Moscow Film School (VGIK), where he met and later married another student, future director Larisa Shepitko. Initially specializing in comedy, Klimov's first films were broad, irreverent satires of Soviet bureaucracy, filled with slapstick and visual puns but scarcely concealing their sympathies for the individual over the collective. "Welcome, or No Trespassing" (1964) sat on the studio shelf until Premier Nikita Khrushchev saw it and demanded it be shown in theatres; "The Adventures of a Dentist" (1965) was barely released. With the advent of Brezhnev, Klimov was consigned to television work. His popular documentary "Sport, Sport, Sport" (1970) won him another shot at the big screen though he remained an incorrigible individualist, now with a dark streak in his creative makeup. "Agony" (completed in 1974), a feverish epic of Rasputin and the fall of Imperial Russia's ruling class, raised the censor's hackles over its orgy scenes and was withheld from distribution for several years. His next feature had an even sadder history. Larisa Shepitko had just begun shooting "Farewell to Matyora" in the spring of 1979 when she was killed in a car accident. Still reeling from her death, Klimov stepped in and finished the production, toning down his own visual exuberance in order to remain faithful to Shepitko's brooding, measured style. It was released in 1981. The documentary short "Larisa" (1980) is his haunting elegy to his wife. Many believe her influence can be found in "Come and See", by far the gravest film he ever made. It was also his last. In 1986, Klimov's colleagues elected him First Secretary of the Union of Filmakers, hoping he would revitalize the Soviet Cinema under Gorbachev's glasnost-era reforms. He managed to secure the release of nearly 100 films previously banned by the government and found work for neglected artists, but his other efforts were thwarted by red tape and political indifference. He resigned from the post in 1988. Nor did his fortunes improve after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, after which his insistence on movies having a morally edifying purpose was viewed as old-fashioned. Unable to realize his later projects - adaptations of Bulgakov's "The Master and Margarita" and Dostoyevsky's "The Possessed", and a biopic about Stalin - Klimov withdrew from the industry. In a 2000 interview he said, "I've lost interest in making films. Everything that was possible I felt I had already done". He died of a stroke at 70, half-forgotten, another sad ending among a brilliant, blighted generation of Russian artists. (bio by: Bobb Edwards) 
 
Burial:
Troekurov Cemetery
Moscow
Moscow Federal City, Russian Federation
Plot: Section 1
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Joe Walker
Record added: Nov 13, 2003
Find A Grave Memorial# 8082790
Elem Klimov
Added by: Bobb Edwards
 
Elem Klimov
Added by: Pawel Golowin
 
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-Anonymous
 Added: Oct. 26, 2014

- BigLebo
 Added: Sep. 4, 2014

- Tracey Reid
 Added: Oct. 26, 2013
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