The Painted Bird / Václav Marhoul

  • Country and year: Czech/Slovakia/Ukraine 2019
  • Rating: 18
  • Duration: 169 min
  • Director: Václav Marhoul
  • Writer: Václav Marhoul, from the novel by Jerzy Kosiński
  • Producer(s): Aleksandr Kushaev, Václav Marhoul
  • Cinematographer: Vladimír Smutný
  • Cast: Petr Kotlár, Harvey Keitel, Julian Sands, Udo Kier, Barry Pepper, Stellan Skarsgård
  • Language: Czech, German, Russian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Format: DCP

“A monumental piece of work and one I’m deeply glad to have seen”
– Xan Brooks / The Guardian

“Stunning to look at”
– Raphael Abraham / Financial Times

“Inarguably effective and immersive”
– Guy Lodge / Variety

“An ordeal that makes Dante’s Inferno seem almost light in comparison”
– David Opie / Sight & Sound

“An emotional three-hour punch in the stomach”
– Deborah Young / The Hollywood Reporter

“Gruelling but brilliant — A mesmerising travelogue film by Czech director Václav Marhoul, based on the famous 1965 novel by Jerzy Kosiński, which tells of a young Jewish boy and his horrific life in the wilds of eastern Europe during World War Two. — It’s tough to amply describe the film’s relentlessly brutal pleasures, but those who have seen films like Andrei Tarkovsky’s Ivan’s Childhood, Robert Bresson’s Mouchette or Elem Klimov’s Come and See (whose star, Aleksei Kravchenko, crops up here) might have an idea of the grim terrain we’re on here. Like those great works, it’s an episodic tale of a holy innocent who drifts through life and becomes the focus of all the world’s ills.” – David Jenkins / Little White Lies

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