Stellan Skarsgard doesn't want kids to grow up thinking ''violence is like a 'Star Wars' film''.

The 69-year-old actor has defended the violent scenes in his war movie 'The Painted Bird' - which has already been widely criticised - but he still acknowledged that parts of the film make for ''unpleasant'' viewing.

He explained: ''I'm sure for some people it was too much to take, because when violence is presented in this unflinching way, it becomes unpleasant, and some people are more sensitive to it.

''So I'm sure some of them left because of that. But I can tell you that, I was there at the Venice premiere, and I saw quite a few of people coming back - so possibly they just didn't have three-hour bladders.''

The controversial movie tells the story of an unnamed Jewish boy who experiences and witnesses brutal violence during the World War Two era.

Stellan concedes that 'The Painted Bird's violent scenes aren't as sanitised as most Hollywood films.

The actor - who previously starred in Marvel movies such as 'Thor' and 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' - told the BBC: ''There's much less violence [in 'The Painted Bird'] than in any Marvel film - the difference is that when there is violence, it is taken seriously.

''Violence is not pleasant and should not be pleasant. So you can criticise the film for not showing pleasant or sexy or sweet enough violence, but this is depicting violence as something brutal, which it is to the people exposed to it.

''I don't want kids to grow up thinking violence is like a 'Star Wars' film where 150 storm troopers die, and you don't spend one second thinking about their wives and children! Violence has consequences, and you also have to have films that acknowledge that.''