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‘Bird’ flies to bigscreen

Czech filmmaker Marhoul buys rights to Kosinski book

Czech producer director Vaclav Marhoul is to make a screen adaptation of Jerzy Kosinski’s controversial Holocaust novel “The Painted Bird.”

Marhoul spent two years negotiating for the rights with Chicago publishing house Spertus College of Judaica.

Published in 1965, “The Painted Bird” tells the story of a six-year-old Jewish boy in Eastern Europe sent into hiding by his parents to avoid being sent to a death camp by the Nazis during WWII.

Book was banned in the author’s native Poland by Communist authorities for 23 years.

Another of Kosinski’s books, “Being There” was adapted for screen with Peter Sellers playing the lead role of Chance, the gardener.

“In all respects, I can imagine, ‘The Painted Bird’ will be a difficult project,” Marhoul said. “We are at the very beginning, working on the script itself.”

Marhoul’s last project was wartime film “Tobruk.”

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