Aleksei Kravchenko did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Flyora in Come and See.
Aleksei Kravchenko plays the young boy in Belarus who we first see in the opening of the film looking in a field for an abandoned rifle with his friend. Flyora as a character is defined simply enough as just a normal boy in this situation and there is not an extreme depth to him, nor does there need to be. Throughout the film he does not have an exorbitant amount of lines, and much of the burden of bringing across the personal story of Floyra is left to the young Kravchenko. In the early scenes as Flyora finds the rifle, and goes about joining the Soviet partisan forces. Kravchenko does well in the role by just finding the realistic attitude in the boy as he finds the right expression of joy while first finding the rifle, then unease as he must leave his mother and sisters to join the soldiers. Kravchenko finds the complexity of the moment by showing the certain happiness of a presumed maturation by becoming a soldier, while still representing the fear of taking this step in the unknown. Upon his arrival in joining the camp of soldiers Flyora finds that there is nothing special to be found as he is immediately assigned a menial task.
The frustration of the position is well marked by Kravchenko though this switches to something else when a girl Glasha comes upon him and kisses him. Kravchenko is excellent by portraying the sheer confusion of the young boy at the action as he just can quite know what to do with what happens, and importantly shows that it is not that Kravchenko did not like it, he just does not understand it. In their other scenes together Kravchenko reflects as he interacts with her in a certain shyness that so effectively depicts the state she has left him in. However such confusion are not allowed to last the horrors begin as Nazi planes bomb the encampment leaving Floyra temporarily deaf. He and Glasha attempt to run back to Floyra home. Kravchenko's work portrays this deafness is well as he portrays a narrow view almost caused by his inability to know anything beyond his eye sight. This leads to a disturbing scene where Floyra misses his town, including his family, in a pile of dead bodies having been massacred behind a house while Glasha sees what has happened. Kravchenko makes this all the more heartbreaking by showing still a youthful enthusiasm in Floyra as he runs to find his family, he believes is hiding, as though its like he's playing a game with his family.
Eventually Glasha is able to convince him what has actually happened after they once again find the partisans and the surviving locals of the area. Kravchenko holds back somewhat in this moment though in his portrayal of grief, though it feels honest nonetheless. Kravchenko keeps a detachment that seems to reflect that he did not personally see the deaths, though he already will never be the eager young boy looking in the sand again. Floyra briefly finds a respite of sorts though as he works with a small partisan group that does not end particularly well as his comrades die, and his efforts all fail. Kravchenko portrays an earnest optimism in these scenes with Floyra still on a mission and there a hope that one can notice in his eyes. This hope is not long for the world though as the film moves into his last act where Floyra comes upon a group of Nazis who have occupied a village, and put him into a house. The atrocities only mount in this scene, as Floyra only escapes death himself when the Nazis allow those to leave who do not have children.
Floyra is stuck there as he must witness the terror of the scene as the Nazis casually go about murdering those in the house, raping a woman who left it, and even pretending like they are going to shoot Floyra in the head for a photograph. The scope of Kravchenko's performance technically becomes limited as he barely says a word, but the power of his performance is not diminished in the slightest. Kravchenko's reactions stand as an almost unbearable human attachment to the unrelenting butchering by the Nazis. Kravchenko is absolutely haunting as the sheer extent of every murder is seen through his eyes. Kravchenko only through these moments seems to age fifty years and by the end of the massacre Kravchenko appears more like an old man than a child. There's not a hint of hope, joy or any optimism it seems in his face, just every sight he saw pent up in him which has worn away Floyra's soul. This is only broken when Floyra finally shoots his rifle at a painting of Hitler. Kravchenko is outstanding as all the pain, anger, and finally the unbearable grief pour out in this silent yet palatable scream of this living victim. Aleksei Kravchenko's work here is truly remarkable as he is never lost in the film, but only amplifies its visceral imagery through his portrait of not just the loss of innocence but also the loss of life even without death.