The Big Animal (2000)
Working from a recently rediscovered script from late Polish filmmaker Krysztof Kieslowski, veteran actor and frequent Kieslowski collaborator Jerzy Stuhr directs this wry fable about intolerance and individuality. The film opens with bank clerk and clarinet enthusiast Zygmunt Sawicki (Stuhr) discovering a huge two-humped camel in his garden -- apparently left behind by a traveling circus. Though his schoolteacher wife Marysia (Anna Dymna) initially doesn't know what to make of the cud-chewing animal, Zygmunt takes an immediate shine to the beast, and takes it in. His fellow villagers also seem to take to the camel: Zygmunt is greeted warmly as he parades it around their little town, and Marysia's pupils clamor over each other to name the animal. However, the townsfolk soon grow tired and suspicious of the beast. Friends and neighbors start to avoid the Sawickis, and children are forbidden to go near the animal. … More
No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.Login
Critic Reviews for The Big Animal
The crisp, elegant black-and-white cinematography by Academy Award nominee Pawel Edelman (The Pianist) is well-matched to the simplicity of the narrative.
This film is a natural for tweens and teens, like The Yearling or the British film Ring of Bright Water.
Kieslowski has written a film about how people, when confronting something new, often react with anger and even vengeance.
It's a modest film...but Stuhr's sure hand with his material and the effective performances make it a memorable parable about the spark of individuality.
Delightfully poetic for all of its ironic and allegorical subtleties.
Rubio, a denizen of a Polish circus, is simply terrific as the unnamed creature, whose reactions to events around him are a quiet delight.
Memorializes a complex man and his deceptively simple work, by a friend and colleague in a fitting tribute.
The Big Animal unfolds rather like a fable of modern life, demonstrating how the small community's intolerance increases with the fervor of Zygmunt's unexplained devotion.
Beyond its initial one-joke concept and heavy-handed allegory, The Big Animal doesn't have much to say, and even at 72 minutes it seems a bit padded out.
Stuhr's directing seems ambiguous on how to handle its rich findings.
A delightful satire from Poland.
Adapted from a script written in the 1970's by Krzysztof Kieslowski, Jerzy Stuhr's film is a small, charming fable about individual idiosyncrasy and social uniformity.
A gentle, witty parable of the mixed feelings some people show toward free choice when it confronts them not in theory but in everyday life.
The tale's faux-fable simplicity is cunningly eloquent, and the visions of the great desert animal thrusting his head through a window during dinnertime, or drowsily strolling the streets on a leash, are hauntingly absurd.
Audience Reviews for The Big Animal
Discuss The Big Animal on our Movie forum!