The painted bird

Screening: 14/12/2020 / 19:00h

Václav Marhoul / Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine/ 2019 / 169′

Director: Václav Marhoul
Screenplay: Václav Marhoul, Jerzy Korsinski
Editor: Luděk Hudec
Cinematographer: Vladimír Smutný
Sound: Jakub Cech, Vladimir Chortvavovic, Pavel Rejholec
Production: Pub Res, Silver Screen
Producers: Václav Marhoul, Aleksandr Kushaev, Tatiana Detlofson,
Starring: Petr Kotlár, Nina Šunevič, Stellan Skarsgård, Udo Kier, Harvey Keitel, Jitka Čvančarova, Julian Sands, Ala Sakalova, Aleksei Kravchenko, Barry Pepper


The film tells the story of a Jewish child, who, after being separated from his persecuted parents, wanders Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe during World War II, meeting senseless violence and inhumane torture along the way, and becoming personally a victim of brutal abuse. In a defining moment, a peasant shows the boy the flight of a captive bird, painted and released back into its flock. The bird, now different from its fellows, is ripped apart. That critical lesson embodies the boy’s own experiences: difference is fatal.


Václav Marhoul, Czech director, screenplay writer and actor, is born in 1960, in Prague. He graduated at the Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts (FAMU) in Prague, in 1984. He has done his first film, Mazaný Filip, based on books of Raymond Chandler, back in 2003, and the second one, Tobruk, in 2008.

FESTIVALS and awards

Czech Lions 2020 – awards for the best film, best director, best cinematography, sound, best art directing, best costume design, best film poster, best editing, extraordinary audio-visual achievement, best makeup and hairstyling
Czech Film Critics’ Award 2020– award for best audio-visual work
FEST 2020 – Jury prize – Main Programme best director
Miami Jewish Film Festival 2020 – The Critics Prize
Ukrainian Film Critics Awards 2020
Vancouver International Film Festival 2020
Palm Springs International Film Festival 2020
Warshaw Jewish Film Festival 2019 – best screenplay, best cinematography Kolkata International Film Festival 2019 – best director
Venice Film Festival 2019 – UNICEF award and nomination for Golden Bear for best film
Camerimage 2019 – Bronze Frog and FIPRESCI award
Chicago International Film Festival 2019 – best cinematography
Cork International Film Festival 2019
FEST 2020 – nagrada žirija za najboljeg reditelja
Minsk International Film Festival “Listapad” 2019
Satellite Award 2019
Toronto International Film Festival 2019
Tokyo International Film Festival 2019
BFI London Film Festival 2019
Sao Paolo International Film Festival 2019
Warshaw International Film Festival 2019