The film follows the journey of a boy, entrusted by his Jewish parents to an elderly foster mother in an effort to escape persecution.
Following a tragedy, the boy is on his own. Wandering through the desecrated countryside, the boy encounters villagers and soldiers whose own lives have been brutally altered, and who are intent on revisiting this brutality on the boy. When the war ends, the boy has been changed, forever.
Shot in crisp black and white 35mm – Václav Marhoul’s The Painted Bird does far more than simply depict the horror of war. It is an unflinching examination of the very worst of humanity.
Directed, written and produced by Marhoul, The Painted Bird, features a staggering central performance from the young Petr Kotlár alongside a star-studded international ensemble including Udo Kier, Stellan Skarsgård, Harvey Keitel, Julian Sands and Barry Pepper. The film has won ecstatic acclaim, with The Guardian’s Xan Brooks describing the film as “a monumental piece of work” rewarding the film with a five-star review. The film is also one of ten films that has advanced to the next round of voting in the International Feature Film category (formerly known as Foreign Language Film) for the 92nd Academy Awards. Ninety-one films were eligible in the category.
THE IRISH TIMES – ★★★★★ THE RADIO TIMES - ★★★★★ THE HOLLYWOOD NEWS – ★★★★★ EMPIRE – ★★★★ TOTAL FILM – ★★★★ LITTLE WHITE LIES – ★★★★ THE TIMES – ★★★★ TELEGRAPH – ★★★★ FINANCIAL TIMES – ★★★★