A beautiful film and one that will be remembered for outstanding cinematography. The camera angles are unusual, many of the shots made from above giving us a birds-eye view of the drama unfolding below. The story concerns Loysik a little country boy whose mother has been killed by a falling tree branch. Desperately lonely, he befriends a tiny chicken the sole survivor of a hen house pecked to death by marauding eagles. Loysik's visions of his smiling mother are beautifully portrayed in a kind of sepia toning with amazing dramatic back-lighting. It's a truly moving cinematic experience. There are some engaging scenes of the countryside with sudden and unexpected close-ups of a snarling dog, savage eagle or squawking chick. Hold on to your chair. It is the pet chicken that finally answers the little boy's prayers. When an accident with a lamp sets the stables on fire, the chicken's tail feathers catch alight and it dashes hither and thither among the straw spreading the fire in all directions. Loysik succumbs to the smoke and flames which engulf him. And what a dramatic ending! The director has a group of fine actors on his hands and they give earthy performances in several seductive and savage sex scenes. Leisurely days with families picnicking in the Spring sunshine are contrasted with moments of cruelty, blood and death. As Jozef the servant reflects: "Don't cry, Loysik. That's life!" This film captures life in all its saddest and h appiest moments.
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