Venice Film Festival 2019: Holocaust film The Painted Bird's 'brutal' scenes lead to mass walkouts
The Venice Film Festival witnessed yet another controversial incident when the screening of The Painted Bird prompted mass walkouts, reports People. As per reviews of the film, The Painted Bird depicts harrowing scenes of violence, sexual assault, bestiality, and mutilation. Featuring Harvey Keitel, Stellan Skarsgård and Udo Kier, The Painted Bird revolves around a Jewish boy (played by Petr Kotlar), who is left in attendance of an old lady during World War II.
On the lady's death, the boy is compelled to wander from village to village, where he witnesses one heinous crime after the other. Xan Brooks of The Guardian reports that the first walkout was prompted by a vivid scene of a man tearing apart the eyes of a teenage boy, while the other was evoked after a character's gruesome death on screen.
The reactions were so stark that Brooks notes, “One day, they’ll make a film about the first public screening of The Painted Bird. It will feature the man who fell full-length on the steps in his effort to escape and the well-dressed woman who became so frantic to get out that she hit the stranger in the next seat.”
The incident was reported online by International Film Critique.
Václav Marhoul's #ThePaintedBird is a brutal, harrowing & merciless 3 hour journey. Filled with gruesome acts varying from extreme beatings, brutal rape scenes and eye gouging. Yep, THERE WERE WALKOUTS! Great directing & superb black & white 35mm cinematography. #Venezia76 pic.twitter.com/E4RMi7pCLK
— International Film Critique (@IntFilmCritique) September 3, 2019
Viewers were also moved by the film's brutal content.
#ThePaintedBird is a miserable experience, a proper disappointment as we follow this kid getting abused both physically, mentally and even sexually. Massive walkouts throughout the movie. A missed opportunity, and the cast is overly wasted. #Venezia76 #VeniceFilmFestival — omar franini (@omarfranini) September 2, 2019
I’m still trying to untangle my feelings about #ThePaintedBird. How do you begin to assess something like that? It’s the most beautiful ugly film I have ever seen. Relentlessly harrowing. Brutal. Cruel. Confrontational. It’s also a truly staggering achievement. #Venezia76
— Greg Wetherall (@GregWetherall) September 3, 2019
Harvey Keitel is as far away from his jolly car insurance adverts as imaginable in holocaust metaphor pic #thepaintedbird. The largest number of walkouts I’ve witnessed this year. Certain to attain MASSIVE notoriety yet also likely to win the main prize. #Venezia76 — Greg Wetherall (@GregWetherall) September 3, 2019
The Painted Bird is inspired from a 1965 novel by Jerzy Kosinski. The author's initial claims that the book was an autobiography was later discredited.
Updated Date: Sep 05, 2019 10:52:23 IST