When it comes to films about The Holocaust, I think its fair to say you can probably expect some level of horror given the heinous atrocities that took place.
However, it seems as though The Painted Bird has taken it to the next level, earning itself the title of The Venice Film Festivals most controversial film of the year.
The film, which stars Harvey Keitel, Stellan Skarsgård and Udo Kier, prompted walkouts from horrified viewers over graphic scenes of violence, sexual assault, mutilation and bestiality, according to Xan Brooks, a reviewer for the Guardian.
It follows a Jewish boy who is left in the care of an elderly woman by his parents during World War II, however 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.
One of the scenes, Brooks writes, depicts a man gouging out the eyes of a teenage boy, followed by another character who faced a gory and violent death, prompting people to leave the screening.
In his review, Brooks wrote:
One day, theyll 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.
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 claimed the controversial film prompted mass walkouts even among the battle-hardened critics paid to sit through anything.
One film reviewer, who incidentally made it through to the end, wrote on Twitter:
Václav Marhouls #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.