MONOS and THE PAINTED BIRD – First titles introduced for Stockfish 2020!


Two award winning films and audience favourites are the first titles to be announced for Stockfish Film Festival 2020. The Painted Bird and Monos are both war dramas that explore the effects of war on the young spirit and mind.

The Painted Bird by Vacláv Marhhoul has made quite an impression for it’s dynamic cinematography and brutal content.

The story is based on a novel by Jerzy Kosiński about a young Jewish boy who was sent to stay with an aunt in a foreign country in an attempt to save him from the holocaust. Shortly after his arrival the aunt dies unexpectedly and the boy is forced to make it on his own in a brutal world of war and chaos.

The film is filmed on an unusual format when it comes to modern film making but the director Vacláv has this to say about his unusual choice of format:

“We shot the film on 35mm black-and-white film at 1:2:35 aspect ratio. Cinemascope is a richly emotive format. No other format can capture, with such accuracy and force, both the beaty andthe cruelty playing out on the screen.” – Vacláv Marhhoul

Monos examines the chaos and fog of war from the unique perspective of adolescence, banding together a diverse young cast of seasoned professionals and untrained neophytes thrust into an unforgiving, irrational and often surreal environment where anything can happen — even peace.

The story starts off on a remote mountaintop setting somewhere in Latin America. A rebel group of teenage commandos perform military training exercises while watching over a prisoner and a conscripted milk cow for a shadowy force known only as The Organization. After an ambush drives the squadron into the jungle, fracturing their intricate bond, the mission begins to collapse.

Many who have seen the film have described a strong resemblance to Lord of The Flies and apparently the book had some influence on the director as well as another famous novel:

“Lord of the Flies and Conrad’s Heart of Darkness have allegorical powers that span way beyond their specific time, conflict or country. Also, both novels have something that lingers in your subconscious, like a totem pole, like some sort of tattoo.”

Despite thematic similarities between these films, The Painted Bird and Monos offer two very distinct but equally intriguing cinematic experiences. We’ll keep you posted as there is more to come.