The Painted Bird
Few novels have aroused as much controversy as Jerzy Kosiński's The Painted Bird, which appeared in 1965. Some considered it an absolute masterpiece; others called it an example of blatant plagiarism. In Poland the book was condemned as offensive and anti-Polish, while Kosiński's claim that the story was autobiographical was largely disputed. Either way, The Painted Bird tells a war story that leaves an indelible impression on the reader. Václav Marhoul now brought it to the screen.
During World War II, a young Eastern European Jewish boy is sent to an aunt in the countryside by his parents. When his aunt suddenly dies, he is left to care for himself. He wanders from village to village, encountering all sorts of malevolent aspects of man: primitive superstition, rape, incest, murder. He also witnesses the persecution of Jews and the violent acts of German and Russian soldiers. Received multiple awards, including at the 2019 Venice Film Festival.