Call it the Black Beauty of donkey stories: EO, a new film that depicts the travels and travails of the title’s titular hero, is being hailed a cinematic masterpiece. The film from Polish filmmaking legend Jerzy Skolimowski was nominated for the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, where it won the prestigious Jury Prize, and it also garnered the New York Film Critics Circle Award, among other accolades. Poland has chosen to submit the movie for the Best International Feature Film category at the 95th Academy Awards in 2023. EO was the #1 pick of best movies in 2022 from the New York Times, who called it “one of the rare movies that speak to life’s most essential questions.”
The film follows EO (so named due to the braying sound he makes), a circus donkey who is sold to farmers but then escapes and, according to the New York Times, “sets off on a strange, at times phantasmagoric, adventure.” What makes EO so captivating is that the entire film is told through the donkey’s point of view.
As in Black Beauty, the little donkey meets people both cruel and kind, which struck reviewer John Powers at National Public Radio (NPR) deeply. “Part of what makes EO feel so alive is that it speaks to today’s huge, ongoing shift in consciousness about animals and our increasing awareness that we treat them horribly. This is a film filled with compassion for the exploited, ill-treated creatures of this world and electric with anger at those who, through malice or thoughtlessness, perpetuate cruelty toward the powerless.”
Expect to see EO emerge at awards show time. Currently only in select theatres.
Watch the trailer here: