The Painted Bird
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UK Release Date: 2 September 2019
Jerzy Kosiński’s novel is a child’s eye view of World War II, in which an abandoned six-year-old boy searches an unspecified Eastern European country for his family. He might be Roma, he might be Jewish. The Painted Bird was originally assumed to be a memoir, and Kosiński even dug up a corroborating letter to prove his own childhood separation. But not only was the tale entirely fictional, it was proven, in 1982, to be plagiarised too. The Painted Bird remains potent regardless, and Václav Marhoul’s black-and-white film adaptation in the Interslavic language boasts a cast that includes Harvey Keitel and Stellan Skarsgård.
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