FNE at Cannes 2022: Competition: EO

    EO by Jerzy Skolimowski EO by Jerzy Skolimowski copyright: Aneta and FIlip Gębscy

    CANNES: Veteran Polish director Jerzy Skolimowski has scored a slot in the Cannes competition this year with the Polish/Italian coproduction EO, an odd tale that sees the world through the eyes of a donkey. It is sure to leave critics and audiences alike scratching their heads their heads.

    The world is a mysterious place when seen through the eyes of an animal. EO, a grey donkey with melancholic eyes, meets good and bad people on his life’s path, experiences joy and pain, endures the wheel of fortune randomly turn his luck into disaster and his despair into unexpected bliss. But not even for a moment does he lose his innocence.

    Skolimowski said in a statement “At the beginning of the film it is mentioned that the film is dedicated to the memory of Robert Bresson. However, the story told in EO has nothing to do with Au hasard Balthazar, except for the donkey. In Bresson’s film, the donkey is one of the many heroes, but in our film it is the leader. There are no other convergent themes in the script”,

    “In today's world, drastic shipments of Polish horse meat to Italy take place. Horses are transported alive, tightly packed in trucks, in totally inhumane conditions, and some of them die during this transport. The protagonist of my film is saved in Italy from this transport and even experiences the happiest moments of his life, which, however, have a dramatic end. We want to move the viewer, and to make the film a protest against the cruelty that people have towards animals”, he said.

    At the age of 84 Skolimowski is still one of the youngest and most experimental European filmmakers working with a daring that tackles any subject with sincerity and stunning visuals. After graduating from the prestigious Film School in Lodz in Poland and making a name for himself internationally with his early films he moved to Los Angeles where he lived for over 20 years working as an expressionist painter before returning to Poland to make his mark in filmmaking again in 2008 with Four Nights With Anna. He received a Golden Lion in Venice for Lifetime Achievement in 2016. In 2010 his Essential Killing starring Vincent Gallo and Emmanuelle Seigner won the Special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival.

    Skolimowski cowrote the script for EO with Ewa Piaskowska. The film had a budget of 2.3m EUR. HanWay Films is handling the sales.

    EO (Poland/Italy)
    Directed by Jerzy Skolimowski
    Cast: Isabelle Huppert, Sandra Drzymalska, Lorenzo Zurzulo, Mateusz Kosciukiewicz
    Production: Skopia Film
    Coproducer: Alia Film (Italy)
    Supported by the Polish Film Institute, the Subcarpathian Regional Film Fund and the Warmia-Masuria Film Fund.