The Painted Bird

The Painted Bird
  • 2019
  • 2h 49min
  • 18
  • Directed by: Václav Marhoul
  • Cast: Stellan Skarsgård, Harvey Keitel, Barry Pepper

A cruel drama about a Jewish boy who tries to survive at the end of World War II.

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Performance times

Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the information displayed here is accurate, always check with the venue before attending (especially during the Covid-19 pandemic).

Robert Burns Centre Film Theatre, Dumfries (0.0 miles)

Mill Road, Dumfries, DG2 7BE
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Thu 22 Oct

£3–£6

A movie adaptation of Jerzy Kosinski’s controversial novel about a lone Jewish boy wandering through a cruel obstacle course of survival and abuse in Eastern Europe at the end of World War II.

Directed, written and produced by Marhoul, The Painted Bird features a staggering central performance from the young Petr Kotlár alongside an international ensemble including Udo Kier, Stellan Skarsgård, Harvey Keitel, Julian Sands and Barry Pepper. The film follows the journey of a boy, entrusted by his Jewish parents to an elderly foster mother in an effort to escape persecution. Following a tragedy, the boy is on his own. Wandering through the desecrated countryside, the boy encounters villagers and soldiers whose own lives have been brutally altered, and who are intent on revisiting this brutality on the boy. When the war ends, the boy has been changed, forever.

Shot in crisp black and white 35mm - Václav Marhoul’s The Painted Bird does far more than simply depict the horror of war. It is an unflinching examination of the very worst of humanity.

Please note: The Painted Bird contains scenes of extreme violence and cruelty that will be upsetting to some viewers.

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Reviews & features

Stellan Skarsgard says The Painted Bird is 'difficult to watch on your iPhone'

13 Sep 2020

Film gossip

Stellan Skarsgard thinks 'The Painted Bird' is "very difficult to watch on your iPhone". The 69-year-old actor stars in the black-and-white war drama film, and he believes it's a movie that needs a big-screen viewing in order to be appreciated. He…

The Painted Bird

7 Sep 20204 stars

Gruelling and graceful WWII drama from Václav Marhoul, with Stellan Skarsgård and Harvey Keitel

The Painted Bird is not for the fainthearted. Václav Marhoul's epic dramatisation of the 1965 Jerzy Kosiński novel is a gruelling endurance test as it follows a young Jewish boy in flight through wartime Eastern Europe. Innocence is scoured away as he…

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