Audiences flee child-rape Holocaust movie at Venice film festival

MORE cinema-goers flee horrific Holocaust movie The Painted Bird that shows brutal scenes of incest, bestiality, child rape and mutilation

  • More cinema-goers have fled the shocking new Holocaust film The Painted Bird  
  • Václav Marhoul’s latest film saw festival-goers flee during screening in Toronto
  • Film includes scenes of incest, rape, bestiality, murder and being buried alive  
  • One ‘well-dressed woman became so frantic to get out that she hit a stranger’  

More cinema-goers have fled the shocking new Holocaust film The Painted Bird at the Toronto film festival, after its premiere in Venice shocked the world.

Some shocked audience members walked out of the film’s showing at the Toronto Film Festival on Sunday – days after  dozens of audience members ran for the exits during scenes of child rape in Venice. 

Director Václav Marhoul’s film is based on Jerzy Kosinski’s highly contentious 1965 novel about a Jewish boy surviving the worst human nature can inflict on him in an unnamed Eastern European country.  

The book is one of most controversial books about the Holocaust and the film includes hard-hitting scenes of incest, rape, murder and a young boy being nearly pecked to death by a bird.  

Dozens of audience members ran for the exits during scenes of child rape in a new film called The Painted Bird that was screened at Venice Film Festival


Venice Film Festival attendees were left shocked by Václav Marhoul’s latest film, based on Jerzy Kosinski’s 1965 novel of the same name. The book, which Kosinski initially claimed was autobiographical but was then proven to be fiction, includes hard-hitting scenes of incest, rape, murder and someone being nearly pecked to death by a bird

What were some of the most shocking scenes in The Painted Bird?  

  • One scene involves an enraged and slightly mad Eastern European man who gauges the eyes out of another man because he believes him to be interested in his wife. 
  • Another scene shows young boys bleeding while they drag themselves across the ground after being shot. 
  • The main character, The Boy, is repeatedly raped after he is handed to a paedophile by a priest. 
  • A young boy, buried to the neck, is left to the birds and ends up being nearly pecked to death. 
  • In another scene, Jews on a train going to a concentration camp break a hole in the side of the carriage and escape – only to be mown down by German soldiers.  
  • The Boy meets a woman who turns her desires toward him, because The Boy is unable to satisfy her she enacts her revenge upon him in a beastiality scene with a goat.

The film, shot in black and white, portrays the story of a young Jewish boy who is trying to reunite with his father by travelling through Nazi-occupied Europe. 

He has been sent to live with his grandmother during the ruthless persecution of the Holocaust in German-occupied Eastern Europe.

But the grandmother soon dies and the Boy is left to wander the countryside alone.

In the opening scene, a travelling shot shows the child running as fast as he can while hanging onto his white ferret. We don’t know what he’s running from but another child bashes into him from the side and steals his pet.

The Boy is pinned to the floor by others and watches as his ferret is doused in fuel and burned alive, its white fur charring while it writhes around and squeals.

This is just the beginning of the relentless barbarism which will be inflicted upon the Boy, played by Petr Kotlar. Wherever he goes to seek shelter, so follow scenes of utter depravity.   

In the first town where he resides, the peasants believe he is the devil incarnate and he is taken in as a slave by the local doctor, who later buries him up to his neck in the ground in an apparent bid to save the Boy from disease.

The Boy is later pushed into the river where he is carried downstream to his encounter with the miller.

In Venice, the first  audience exodus was triggered when a jealous man takes a spoon to gouge out the eyeballs of a teenager who has taken too much interest in his wife. A nearby cat then devours the eyeballs on the floor.

The boy is later saved from the Gestapo by a perverted priest, played by Harvey Keitel. The priest gives the child to a paedophile who repeatedly tortures the Boy.

After his next escape the Boy is seduced by a nymphomaniac who is outraged the child cannot satisfy her urges and takes revenge on the Boy by copulating with a goat. This scene prompted the second largest walk-out of the audience.

The child is taught a chilling lesson during his wanderings by a bird catcher, who takes one of the creatures, paints it white and then releases it back into the fold, only for the other birds to peck it to death.

The boy is captured by the army, forced to drink alcohol, tied to horses and dragged to the German camp, with a note saying that he’s a Jew.

There he is sentenced to death and witnesses a freight train full of his fellow Jews being carted into the concentration camp.

In the final scenes the concentration camp is liberated Russian cavalry in the final act of the film and the boy is freed and reunited with his parents. 

Kosinski was born in Poland in 1933 and survived the Second World War under a false identity.

He initially hinted the book was autobiographical.

According to reviewers, Marhoul stayed true to the book in his adaptation, down to the scene which saw a young man gauge another man’s eyes out because he believes him to be interested in his wife.

According to Forward, Marhoul defended his grim adaptation to the press at Venice, saying ‘only in darkness can we see light. Shining through all the horrors is, for me, hope and love.’

He spent 11 years recording the film and even invented a new Slavic-sounding language for the small amount of dialogue in the movie so that it could serve as a comment on war-struck Eastern Europe in its totality. 

In Xan Brooks’s review for the Guardian, he detailed how one ‘well-dressed woman became so frantic to get out that she hit the stranger in the next seat’. 

And how a man ‘fell full-length on the steps in his effort to escape’.

The film, shot in black and white, portrays the story of a young Jewish boy who is trying to reunite with his father by travelling through Nazi-occupied Europe. 

According to reviewers, Marhoul stayed true to the book in his adaptation, down to the scene which saw a young man gauge another man’s eyes out because he believes him to be interested in his wife

One scene shows young boys desperately trying to crawl to freedom after being shot 

He meets a woman who is convinced that he is a vampire and enslaves him before he is saved by a priest. 

The priest then hands him to a paedophile who repeatedly rapes him. 

Along the journey he is gradually emotionally hardened by various forms of abuse until he finally escapes at the end but is left heartless – Marhoul’s comment on how war leaves society in general.

Marhoul has defended the unremitting darkness of his adaptation – which has a happy ending, of sorts – insisting that ‘only in darkness can we see light. Shining through all the horrors is, for me, hope and love.’    

He said the film was a warning of what can happen when Europe turns inward as it was doing now, drawing a parallel between the attitudes to migrant children fleeing wars in Syria, Libya and Afghanistan and the rejection and abuse his hero suffers.

‘Bad times are coming to Europe,’ he told reporters.

‘Looking at the populists who are running so many European countries at the moment like Hungary, Poland, Russia, in the Czech Republic too and of course the US.’

Marhoul said the film took 11 years to make.

‘I didn’t know when I started that this story would become much more accented by what happened in Europe three years ago, when so many people came here to save their lives,’ he said.

‘The questions about humankind, about God, what is the evil, what is the good in all of us, what does it mean that the light is visible only in the dark? That’s the principle of this movie,’ director Vaclav Marhoul told Reuters in an interview. 

Source: Read Full Article