The Painted Bird is a brutal war drama about a Jewish boy in the midst of World War II.

The film “Painted Bird” (2019) was nominated for the main award of the Venice Film Festival, held in early September 2019, the exact release date of which is unknown in Russia, the actors and plot have been announced, and the trailer has already been released. The film did not receive the Golden Lion, but received another prestigious film festival prize. Judging by the reaction of the audience at the film festival, who left their seats while watching, this film is not for the faint of heart.

The painted bird

Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine

Genre: drama, military, history

Producer: Vaclav Marhoul

World Premiere: September 3, 2019

Cast: Stellan Skarsgård, Harvey Keitel, Barry Pepper, Udo Kir, Julian Sands, Alexey Kravchenko, Tim Kalkoff, Yitka Chvancharova, Pavel Kriz, Petr Vanek and others.

Budget: 159 million Czech crowns

A Jewish boy left without guardianship faces various difficulties of survival during the Second World War.


During the Second World War, Jews were subjected to special persecution and persecution. Desiring to save her son from imminent death, the mother sends the boy to relatives in a village in Eastern Europe. However, the aunt who gave food and shelter to her nephew for his hard peasant labor unexpectedly dies. The child is left alone, accidentally setting fire to the house, and therefore forced to start wandering in this wild and hostile world, whose laws are extremely severe. The boy wanders alone, wanders from village to village, fights not only for survival, but also for the salvation of his own soul. The protagonist is subjected to torture and persecution, he is thrown into a manure pit, after which he becomes dumb.

Director and shooting

The director, producer and author of the script for the project was Vaclav Marhoul, a Czech filmmaker who created such works as Gnome, Graffiti, Tobruk. The film is based on the novel of the same name by Jerzy Kosinsky, the Golden Globe Award nominee who worked on the project Being There.

Václav marhoul


  • Tatyana Detlofson;
  • Zuzana Mistrikova (Insects, Teacher);
  • Lyubitsa Orekhovska (Insects, Sock Thieves, Teacher);
  • Igor Savichenko ("Guide", "Green Jacket", "Brothers: The Last Confession").

The operator was Vladimir Smutny ("Kolya", "Cookies Returns", "Yawning Blue", "Wii 3D"), and Ludek Hadek ("Unclear News of the End of the World", "Tobruk") was responsible for the installation.

The filming process of the project began in 2017 in the Czech Republic, production lasted 16 months (until October 2018). In addition to the Czech Republic, surveys were conducted in Slovakia, Poland and Ukraine. The premiere of “Painted Bird” took place on September 3, 2019 at the Venice Film Festival, some viewers left the hall, not having watched until the end due to the violent scenes of violence. The film received the Leoncino d »Oro Agiscuola Award for promoting the goals and objectives of UNICEF (an organization that helps children, including those affected by aggression).

According to director Marhole, the minimal use of dialogue in the film left most of the story in the operator’s hands. In the film, the director tried to convey the atmosphere of Central or Eastern Europe of those years, but not in one particular place.

When the film "Painted Bird" (2019) will be released in Russia, it has not yet been announced.


Unlike the western audience, Russian film critics did not appreciate the film:

  • "For me, this is an immoral movie, because it poses no problem but to frighten. No additional meanings in the picture arise. The author revels in the disgust that he created," - Zinaida Pronchenko;
  • “It seems to me that all Russian critics are furious and furious. Russian people are accustomed to the aesthetics of suffering, which many of our cinematographic and literary works are tied to, so when they see someone else using this aesthetics, it infuriates them terribly “The problem is that for many people in the world art and suffering are connected together, such motives are used not only in Russian films. But the author of the film can be called well done, he shows the suffering of the meek - this is a noble task,” - Anton Dolin.

Actors and roles

The film starred:

  • Stellan Skarsgård as Hans (Clever Will Hunting, Breaking the Waves, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Chernobyl, Stealing the Horses, Avengers, Quarry Mercenary);
  • Harvey Keitel as a priest ("Mad Dogs", "Taxi Driver", "From Dusk Till Dawn", "Piano", "Red Dragon", "Madame", "Island of Dogs");
  • Barry Pepper in the role of Mitka ("Saving Private Ryan", "Seven Lives", "Iron Grip", "25th Hour", "Devil's Harvest", "Trap");
  • Udo Cyrus as Miller ("Europe", "Lola", "Dancing in the Dark", "Breaking the Waves", "Roll into the Asphalt", "Iron Sky 2", "American Animals");
  • Julian Sands in the role of Garbos (“The Adventures of Jackie Chan”, “Leaving Las Vegas”, “Death Fields”, “Ring of the Nibelungs”, “Hunched House”);
  • Alexey Kravchenko in the role of Gavrila ("Team", "Go and See", "Star", "Mom", "Life Alone", "Kupchino", "Father's Coast");
  • Tim Kalkoff in the role of an officer of the SS ("Homeland", "Special Forces Cobra", "Confectioner");
  • Yitka Chvancharova in the role of Lyudmila ("Men's Hopes", "I Wake Up Yesterday");
  • Pavel Kriz (Doctor Zhivago, Escape from Colditz Castle, Mission Impossible: Protocol Phantom, Dune, The Last Knights);
  • Petr Vanek as Nicodemus (Borgia, Last Vacation, Crossing the Line, All or Nothing, Number 44, Serena).
The role of the boy went to Peter Kotlar (Petr Kotlar).

Petr kotlar

Interesting Facts

Did you know that:

  • In the sixties, Jerzy Kosinski became famous in Manhattan's literary circles for his amazing stories about the cruelties that he experienced during the war. According to him, left by his parents at the age of six, he wandered around the countryside alone, witnessing rape, murder and incest.
  • The main character has no name.
  • The project is voiced in the "inter-Slavic language" - it is a mixture of several languages ​​at once, including Russian, Polish, Ukrainian.
  • At the Venice Film Festival in 2019, “The Painted Bird” immediately gained fame thanks to one incident at the premiere: 12 spectators desperately tried to get out through the locked door, unable to withstand the oppressive atmosphere of the tape. One of the viewers joked that he would really like to see a film about the hall’s reaction to the Painted Bird.
  • The cameraman told him what difficulties he had to face during filming: “I had never shot a black and white film before. This is a new thing for me. It was very difficult: I did not know how color and light change.”

Each viewer must decide for himself whether he liked the film “Painted Bird” (2019), whose exact release date is unknown in Russia, the actors and plot were announced, and the trailer was released. The tape is literally saturated with cruelty, so it is highly recommended that the faint of heart not watch it.

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