Holcaust in itself is a very sensitive subject and when it comes to making movies on the subject, it needs to be even more careful, something this latest movie might have missed.
The latest Joaquin Phoenix starring movie 'Joker' received a straight eight-minute standing ovation and a Golden Lion award at the Venice Film Festival. But there is also another movie that is making headlines at the festival for it has turned out to be the most controversial movie. Holocaust movies are generally pretty controversial as it is, mainly because of the horror they depict. But this particular movie, titled 'The Painted Bird' has taken things to a whole new level. The movie stars Harvey Keitel, Stellan Skarsgård and Udo Kier and is now being touted as the Venice Film Festival’s most controversial movie. When it was screened at the festival, many people walked out of the film because they were horrified with its graphic scenes of violence, sexual assault, mutilation, and bestiality.
It follows the story of a Jewish boy who is left in the care of an elderly woman by his parents during World War II. But, when the woman dies, the unnamed child is left to wander from village to village, where he comes across a number of less than savory characters. In one of the scenes, Brooke has shown a man whose eyes are being gouged out by a teenage boy followed by another character who faced a gory and violent death, prompting people to leave the screening. One film reviewer, who was attending the screening said, "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."
He added, "The centerpiece will be the moment 12 viewers broke for the doors only to discover that the exit had been locked." The Financial Times also noted that the movie is so controversial that a huge number of people walked out during the screening and even among the battle-hardened critics paid to sit through anything. One reviewer, who sat through to the end, wrote, "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."
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) 3 September 2019
Another one added, "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." The movie is based on a 1965 novel of the same name by Jerzy Kosinski and the author had previously claimed that the movie was his autobiography however this was later proved not to be the case.