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The Painted Bird (Nabarvené ptáce)

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This movie will be released on

Apr 17, 2020

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Movie Info & Cast


Based on the acclaimed Jerzy Kosinskinovel, The Painted Birdis ameticulous 35mm Black &White evocation of wild, primitive Eastern Europe at the bloody close of WWII.The film follows the journey of The Boy, entrusted by his persecuted parents to an elderly foster mother. The old woman soon dies and the Boy is on his own. As he struggles for survival, he suffers extraordinary brutality meted out by ignorant, superstitious peasants and witnesses terrifying violence of the efficient, ruthless soldiers - both Russian and German.


  • Stellan Skarsgård
  • Harvey Keitel
  • Barry Pepper
  • Julian Sands
  • Udo Kier
  • Aleksey Kravchenko
  • Tim Kalkhof
  • Jitka Cvancarová
  • David L. Price
  • Pavel Kríz

Did You Know?


  • Jerzy Kozinski based the source novel for this movie on several stories from Poland that were unavailable to English language readers. The novel is, therefore, a work of plagiarism.
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Atom User Reviews

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Sep 8, 2019

As in the book, the shock effect of coldly detailed incest, bestiality and sexual abuse, beatings, killings and mutilation is furiously nonstop in a film of nearly three hours. Rather than numbing the viewer, however, the parade of evil is presented in a dismaying crescendo of horror that offers no escape.

Metacritic review by Deborah Young
Deborah Young
The Hollywood Reporter
Sep 8, 2019

There is beauty in the 35mm black and white landscapes and framings of this painterly widescreen feature, but it stands in stark contrast with the alienating narrative and tone of a film which, like Kosinski’s book, takes a strange relish in charting the descent of simple country folk of a never-named country into sexual depravity and joyless cruelty.

Lee Marshall
Screen Daily
Sep 8, 2019

The Painted Bird ... is not the wallowing miserablist parade you might fear, yet not quite the Holocaust-themed masterpiece it wishes to be. But it’s always starkly compelling as a reminder of why war survival stories are essential to our understanding of innocence and beastliness.

Metacritic review by Robert Abele
Robert Abele