‘EO’, is a polemic polish film by the legend Jerzy Skolimowsky. It depicts human relationships with other intelligent species. It got its inspiration from Robert Bresson’s ‘Au Hasard Balthazar’. ‘EO’ also features a donkey that provides free labor, food, and companionship. In fact, Jersy Skolimowski revealed that Bresson’s classic brought tears to his eyes.
‘Au Hasard Balthazar’ is about a donkey named Balthazar. He starts his journey with two kids but ends up dying in the end after facing brutality from humans. EO, the donkey is also taken care of in the beginning by a dancer in a circus. Then animal rights protesters got them released. They accused the torture inflicted in the circus, they didn’t make any further arrangements, they didn’t realize this will make the animals’ life become a living hell. Almost similar sentiment as Balthazar got depicted here. This was except for the romanticizing and anthropomorphizing of the beast by Skolimowski.
Animals got depicted as an innocent incarnate by Skolimowski and his co-writer Piaskowska. Men got treated as foul custodians of the earth. Crude smugglers, cruel farmers, and violent anarchists etc. were evil forms of humans. But the film can be a bit confusing with its abrupt jumping from one scene to another.
The unambiguous electronic score of Pawel Mykietyn got played in the movie. Also, a dizzying array of trick shots was used by Skolimowski. But Skolimowski didn’t use the artistic conceits used by Bresson.
Bresson allowed a certain ambiguity. Skolimowski is more didactic, presenting scenes of a massive man made dam and deforestation.
Also, the scenes including the Cameos of Zurzolo and Isabelle Huppert were not in any order. The ending here is also a sad one with all the animals ending up dead.