Movie Review: EO (Skolimowski, 2022)

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Movie: EO

Production Companies: Skopia Film, Alien Films

Director: Jerzy Skolimowski

Producers: Jerzy Skolimowski, Ewa Piaskowska

Scriptwriters: Jerzy Skolimowski, Ewa Piaskowska

Main Cast: Sandra Drzymalska, Lorenzo Zurzolo, Mateusz Koscuikiewicz, Isabelle Huppert

Release Date: September 30th 2022 (Poland)

Running Time: 88 minutes 

Certificate: N/A


Now you’re probably wondering why I’ve chosen to review Jerzy Skolimowski’s EO. Very simply, it’s a beautiful film about a donkey navigating its way through modern Europe. Oh and the film is shot from Eo’s perspective, which should tell you that Eo is the donkey. While the ending is brutal, the rest of the film is well shot and made which I will touch on later in my analysis. So without further ado, let’s get into my review of the film.


EO follows the titular donkey as he tries to navigate Europe, more specifically Poland, after he is freed from his role in a circus alongside Kasandra (Drzymalska). From here he journeys from donkey sanctuaries to a remote Polish mansion to a random Polish football match where he somehow provides good luck to one team but I digress. So really the film is entirely about a donkey wandering through Poland which is where the beauty lies. However, if you’re not too familiar with these more minimalist, European films this probably isn’t the film for you. Also if you love animals avoid the ending because if you’ve ever seen a film with the animal as a main character I’m sure you can gather what happens to Eo. Anyway, enough of me going about this plot let’s get into the analysis portion of this review.


Cinematography in EO

To begin my analysis, I’m going to discuss one of the film’s biggest successes: its cinematography. Now for a film about a donkey essentially doing a gap year student role, EO has some magnificent landscape shots. Take for example, when Eo is moving to the Countess’s (Huppert) mansion. Here, Skolimowski and cinematographer Michel Dymek use a long shot with a heavy emphasis on deep focus of a small Polish town on the edge of a lake. So what does that mean in layman’s terms? Basically this means they’ve shown the entirety of the background to show off the beauty of the snow capped mountains without blurring them out.

That is a common theme amongst the landscape and establishing shots as Skolimowski is clearly at least showing some homage to some of the work of Ingmar Bergman  which was often about showing off the natural beauty of Europe. Another fantastic part of EO’s cinematography is how it shows events through Eo’s eyes. So obviously I hear you asking how do you show events from a donkey’s perspective? Well simply put you drop the camera height and add some dark spots around the eyes. Obviously there’s more to it but this allows the audience to more directly relate with Eo on his journey.

Sandra Drzymalska’s Performance in EO

Continuing my analysis of EO, I’m going to discuss the performance of Sandra Drzymalska as Kasandra. Now because of the fact the film is told through Eo’s eyes this means there is less focus on the human characters. Case in point, Kasandra who is part of a circus act with Eo. This gets split apart by a government act. Honestly the scene where Kasandra is trying to say goodbye to Eo got me. Yeah it’s that beautiful.

This is due to Drzymalska looking distraught at the loss of her beloved Eo. Also, the other major scene with Kasandra in is where she tracks Eo down to the donkey sanctuary where he was moved too. Here, we see Kasandra desperately trying to reconnect with Eo yet she is forced to leave him behind forever. Again, the pained look of Kasandra looking over at Eo says more than any line of dialogue could have so props to her for a fantastic performance.

Foreshadowing in EO 

To conclude my analysis of EO, I’m going to discuss the way the film uses foreshadowing. Now the most prominent example is right in the opening shots as Eo is playing dead with Kasandra trying to revive him. Here, Skolimowski uses red strobe lights and quick cuts to create a sense of urgency or potentially to foreshadow Eo’s fate at the end of the film. And if you have worked out what happens to Eo you can work out what Skolimowski is foreshadowing. Basically, Eo ends up in a slaughterhouse which obviously has connotations of violence and red because of the animals being slaughtered. Frequently across the film, Skolimowski is using red to subtly tell the audience that Eo will not have that happy ending that the film seems to be suggesting at times.


To summarise EO, this is a beautifully shot, made and acted film which manages to emotionally manipulate the audience consistently. Man, I didn’t know I could care so much about a film of a donkey walking around Europe.

Overall Rating: 8/10 – Very Good

Target Audience: 12+

Content Warning: Mild Violence and Gore, Mild Alcohol, Drugs and Smoking, Mild Profanity 

Recommendation: Yes