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A searing adaptation of one of most controversial novels about World War II divided critics at the Venice Film Festival Wednesday, with some fighting each other in the dark to get out of its first screening. Based on Jerzy Kosinski's highly contentious 1965 novel about a boy surviving the worst human nature can inflict on him in an unidentified Eastern European country, "The Painted Bird" was hailed as a masterpiece by some and an unwatchable ordeal by others.The Hollywood Reporter called the black-and-white epic "heart-wrenching ... and the ideal film treatment" of the novel, which itself sparked outrage in Kosinski's native Poland when the writer first hinted that the story was autobiographical.Marhoul said the film took 11 years to make.
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