An orphaned Jewish boy travels from village to village looking for shelter during the Second World War, seemingly less welcome in one village to the next. The Painted Bird demonstrates some of the darkest aspects of humanity, in a post-apocalyptic society from our own past. The gentle narrative is captured using stunning 35mm black and white film, which in addition to showcasing the beautiful cinematography, also spares the viewer from the worst brutalities.
This is the first feature using solely Interslavic dialogue, a constructed language based on the Slavic languages to facilitate communication between inhabitants of the different Slavic nations. According to the director, the purpose is to make Slavic people relate to the story and to create a feeling that this could have happened in any country in the region.
The novel which the film is based upon was controversial because the people terrorizing the boy are Polish farmers, not nazis. The Painted Bird portrays a series of characters devoid of emotions – characters we’re used seeing in science fiction of zombie movies, not in a film with a narrative from our own past.
Director Václav Marhoul will participate in a Q&A after the screening of the film Monday 18.00 and Tuesday 14.00.