Equinox Archive

The 2022 Polish film “EO” by Jerry Skolimowski follows the story of a donkey and its adventure around Poland.

The film premiered at the Keene State Putnam Theatre from Feb. 24 to 27.

We first meet EO as a circus animal for a traveling Polish circus. We see his routine with his handler with flashing red lights. A common theme throughout the film is flashing red lights. A content warning for individuals with epilepsy, there are flashing lights in portions of the film, specifically at the beginning.

Outside the relationship EO has with his handler, we see another circus worker use EO for transportation to sell some scrap metal. However, when they get back to the circus camp, there are protests outside the circus campground. The protesters demand the outlaw of using animals in circus acts and EO is taken away.

Following this conflict, the adventure begins for EO. We see stunning shots of countryside Poland, some point-of-view shots from EO where the outer edge of the screen is blurry and only clear, and lots of Fisheye lens shots.

I was invested in EO for fifteen minutes of the film. Afterward, you see how many different characters interact with EO and use him for their benefit. One character uses him for decorative purposes and exploits him. Another character sold EO to a donkey farm and he ended up being the odd one out on the farm. After he escapes the donkey farm, we see him browse around Poland.

Another thing about the film is that the runtime is so short, but the story feels long. The cinematography and experimental nature at times really made the film a pleasure to see.

The last couple of films I reviewed have all been foreign films; however, this film doesn’t feel foreign. It’s silent at times because you are following a donkey. Yes, the people speak Polish but it happens far in between and has some English here and there. But the story isn’t foreign. Adventures with animals as the main character aren’t new, like the 1986 film “The Adventure of Milo and Otis,” but what makes “EO’’ special is how the narrative is told. Also the critique of the relationship between animals and humans.

This was my first Polish film and I enjoyed it. I like the experimentation at times for the story and different shot compositions and the narrative. I like the tracking shots of EO walking on a Polish road, the POV shots at times, and the usage of red lights.

One thing I didn’t like about the film was how they handled the relationship between EO and his handler. There wasn’t much context on why and how this woman has EO or why she works for a traveling circus. Granted that leaves the mystery to some that might satisfy but, personally, I wanted to know more lore for EO.

Overall, “Eo” was an elegant, brilliant story about a donkey that you surely don’t want to miss.

Shawn Belden can be contacted at

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