Editor’s word: That is the second installment of an ongoing weblog on movies I loved at HIFF–The Hawai’i Worldwide Movie Competition
One of many nice issues about HIFF is the eclectic nature of the movies chosen for the pageant. Not solely do you get primo productions from Asia and the Pacific, but additionally fantastic submissions from Europe and elsewhere.
EO, is a case and level.
Made in Poland by 84 yr outdated, movie director, screenwriter, dramatist and actor, Jerzy Skolimowski, the movie premiered at this yr’s Cannes Movie Competition the place it received the Jury Prize and the Soundtrack award. (The film is loosely impressed by Au Hazard Balthazar a 1966 French drama movie directed by legendary director Robert Bresson).
EO follows the journey of a grey donkey named appropriately sufficient, EO.
Following his elimination from a touring circus, he begins an epic highway journey throughout the Polish and Italian countryside encountering each cruelty and kindness.
EO is assisted and hampered by a forged of characters together with a younger Italian priest (Lorenzo Zurzolo), a Countess (Isabelle Huppert) an unruly Polish soccer workforce and different random people–each human and animal.
The story begins in a Polish circus, the place the animal is doted upon by his coach and fellow performer, Kasandra (Sandra Drzymalska). Life is fairly good however that ends when animal rights activists shut down the circus. EO finally ends up at a petting zoo which looks like an incredible place to land however it’s not utterly to his liking and he busts out. That’s when the enjoyable begins…
He enters a deep darkish forest at evening.
It’s a spooky, foreboding foray right into a netherworld the place there are howling wolves, foxes, owls, menacing hunters and rugged terrain that he stumbles by.
It’s something however Mr. Roger’s neighborhood. There’s even an allusion to the Holocaust (hey it’s Poland) because the animal walks by a graveyard with tombstones inscribed with Hebrew characters. Not an accident me thinks. The director’s father fought for the Polish resistance and was executed by the Germans. His household additionally hid Jews throughout the Nazi occupation.
EO emerges, and inevitably wanders right into a subterranean storm drain, full with screeching bats. Is he getting into the bowels of hell? Possibly.
In some way this intrepid donkey makes it by this hellish panorama. There’s daylight (actually) on the finish of the tunnel however don’t let up your guard EO. Your actual problem will probably be with homo sapiens on the opposite facet.
Life for a donkey is hard sufficient on the highway however individuals put him to work as a beast of burden. (That’s his job, isn’t it?)
It appears it’s the boys (vs. the ladies) who current probably the most vexing problem. EO wanders right into a soccer match the place he turns into the mascot of the profitable workforce. He’s exalted for some time after which practically bludgeoned to dying by the hooligan-like rival soccer workforce who blame the donkey for his or her defeat.
Extra trials and tribulations confront EO as he’s placed on a truck certain for a slaughter home. The truck driver, a long-haired heavy metallic freak, is later “slaughtered” randomly at a truckstop and EO is adopted by an excellent trying Italian priest, who we discover out, has a playing downside.
The 2 make their approach to Italy and so they find yourself at a villa. Nevertheless, it’s not precisely a Roman vacation for this donkey. The villa, belonging to countess (Isabelle Huppert) is related to the priest’s household and so they each discover no less than a brief house. The studly priest will get sexually entangled with the countess.
Time for EO to bolt…
In essence, the movie permits the viewer to see the world from the angle of the donkey. What he sees is hardly edifying—dysfunction, societal ills and as a rule, callousness. Every so often a kindly human is there for him.
It’s not a fairly image however the cinematography (by Mychal Dymek) is phenomenal.
This compelling story, mixed with visible excellence, is a winner.