It seems like the Venice Film Festival is never far away from controversy and it’s happened once again this year after dozens of people walked out of the premiere of The Painted Bird due to some harrowingly brutal scenes.
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The movie is an adaptation of the 1965 book by Jerzy Kosinski and is widely believed to be a metaphor for the Holocaust as it tells the story of a Jewish boy who is left in the care of an elderly woman during World War II by his parents. When she dies though, the boy wanders aimlessly from town to town coming into contact with all manner of unsavoury characters.
The film is said to feature scenes of a man gouging out the eyes of a teenage boy, sexual assault, bestiality and mutilation. It sounds pretty grim – here’s what Guardian film critic Xan Brooks had to say about the premiere:
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 centerpiece will be the moment 12 viewers broke for the doors only to discover that the exit had been locked.
I mean that does sound pretty horrific doesn’t it? The film itself is said to be a three hour odyssey of nastiness which sounds like it will gain massive notoriety upon its general release. Whether anyone else will actually go and watch it is anybody’s guess though. Probably not to be honest.
For more of the same, check out this other movie called The Nightingale that people were walking out of the cinema to as well. So many of them these days.