Follows a donkey who encounters on his journeys good and bad people, experiences joy and pain, exploring a vision of modern Europe through his eyes.

Another one of this year’s Oscar nominees for ‘Best International Feature Film’ comes from Poland and veteran director Jerzy Skolimowski, who at the grand age of 84 has made his 18th movie as a director. The movie is ‘EO’, named after its titular character, a donkey who we follow through its lifetime after its birth in a Polish circus. Now this may sound like a soft and cuddly movie aimed at children, but the reality is anything but in a movie that is far more philosophical than I perhaps expected from the storyline.

Skolimowski shoots the movie through Eo’s viewpoint, providing us with his perspective into the world (and specifically the people) around him as he goes on a journey across the European countryside. He meets and is taken in by various individuals along the way, ranging from nice to not nice at all, and through each encounter we learn a little more about the impact our behaviour can have on the animals that surround us whether as pets or wildlife. Over the course of the movie Eo encounters the good and bad sides of the circus workers, a jubilant football crowd, an Italian countess (played by Isabelle Huppert, because why not) and many other animals, some in captivity and some not.

The film is well edited and shot to the degree that it makes us feel as if Eo is actually going through the emotions the filmmakers want us to think he’s going through, and while this is an experimental film undoubtedly, I felt it managed to effectively convey its messages around the mistreatment and exploitation of animals. ‘EO’ is one of the most unusual films you’ll likely see this year, but that is also its strength and I found this to be an intriguing and at times moving movie.

Rating: 4/5

Directed By: Jerzy Skolimowski

Starring: Sandra Dryzmalska, Lorenzo Zurzolo, Mateusz Kościukiewicz and Isabelle Huppert


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