The Painted Bird directed and written by Václav Marhoul ( Tobruk, Smart Philip) and Czech Oscar® entry for the International Film category at the 92nd Academy Awards has been acquired by IFC Films for a 2020 release date.
Based on the acclaimed novel by Jerzy Kosinski, the movie was a singular achievement by Marhoul, almost 11 years in the making from the decision to acquire the rights, to the writing of the screenplay, to the casting and production lock. It is also notably, the first ever film made in the invented Interslavic language. The Painted Bird stars Petr Kotlár, Udo Kier, Lech Dyblik, Jitka Čvančarová, Stellan Skarsgard, Harvey Keitel, Julian Sands, Aleksey Kravchenko, and Barry Pepper.
The Painted Bird had its world premiere at the 2019 Venice International Film Festival then went on to screen at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival in the Special Presentations section to much acclaim.
The Painted Bird is a meticulous 35mm black and white evocation of wild, primitive Eastern Europe at the bloody close of World War II. 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, wandering through the countryside, from village to village, farmhouse to farmhouse. As he struggles for survival, The Boy suffers through extraordinary brutality meted out by the ignorant, superstitious peasants and he witnesses the terrifying violence of the efficient, ruthless soldiers, both Russian and German.
Director Václav Marhoul added, “I am extremely gratified that IFC has acquired The Painted Bird . They have demonstrated a deep, sensitive understanding of the message of the movie, which is so important in today’s volatile world. I deeply believe the movie’s advocacy of tolerance, fellow-feeling and community must reach American audiences. IFC will make that happen.”