Stellan Skarsgard to star in ‘The Painted Bird’

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Los Angeles, April 3 (IANS) Swedish actor Stellan Skarsgard and German actor Udo Kier are lined up to star in the screen adaptation of Polish writer Jerzy Kosinski’s controversial novel “The Painted Bird”.

The 1965 novel “The Painted Bird” describes World War II as seen by a boy.

Filming has begun on an adaptation of the controversial Holocaust story with Skarsgard joining the cast, reports hollywoodreporter.com.

Petr Kotlar, a nine-year-old Czech actor, will play the young Jewish boy, while actor Harvey Keitel is also in talks to appear in the film.

“‘The Painted Bird’ was a lovely book and a lovely screenplay,” said Skarsgard, who will essay the role of a German soldier in the film.

“You are probably familiar with the story — it follows a young boy and his encounters with a lot of different people, and I am one of them,” he added.

The cast also includes Polish, Ukrainian, Russia and Czech actors. Marhoul says he is still in talks with talent from Germany and Slovakia in addition to ongoing negotiations with Skarsgard and Keitel. The black-and-white film will be shot over 105 days, and a world premiere of the film is planned for May 2019, hollywoodreporter.com said.

The book had caused controversy and criticism for its portrayal of wartime horrors enacted not by the Nazis, but by Polish peasants.

Kosinski took the title from a rural tradition of catching birds, painting them in bright colours and then releasing them into the wild. The “painted birds” were never again accepted by their own families and were pecked to death, a fate the novelist uses as an analogy for the young boy.

Marhoul, who bought the screen rights to “The Painted Bird” in 2010, has described the book as a “deeply dramatic story examining the immediate relationship between terror and cruelty on one side and innocence and love on the other”.

–IANS

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