Beautiful, interesting, incredible cinema.

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The Painted Bird
3,156 Ratings


Joska is entrusted by his Jewish parents to a foster mother in an effort to escape persecution. The boy is on his own, wandering through the countryside. He encounters villagers and soldiers whose own lives have been brutally altered, and who are intent on revisiting this brutality on the boy.

Our take

Stirring up controversy since its Venice premiere, this adaptation of Jerzy Kosiński’s debut novel is a savage enquiry into the nature of evil. A child’s-eye WWII nightmare of epic pulse, its unsparing brutality is shattering, its stunning B&W images breathtaking, its powerful impact long-lasting.