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A Short Film About Killing (1988)
"Krótki film o zabijaniu" (original title)

Not Rated  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  26 October 1988 (France)
8.2
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 9,260 users  
Reviews: 35 user | 33 critic

The plot couldn't be simpler or its attack on capital punishment (and the act of killing in general) more direct - a senseless, violent, almost botched murder is followed by a cold, ... See full summary »

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Title: A Short Film About Killing (1988)

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Cast

Credited cast:
Miroslaw Baka ...
Krzysztof Globisz ...
Piotr Balicki (Advocate)
Jan Tesarz ...
Waldemar Rekowski (Taxi driver)
Zbigniew Zapasiewicz ...
Przewodniczacy Komisji
Barbara Dziekan ...
Bileterka
Aleksander Bednarz ...
Kat
Jerzy Zass ...
Naczelnik
Zdzislaw Tobiasz ...
Judge
Artur Barcis ...
Young Man
...
Dorota
Olgierd Lukaszewicz ...
Andrzej
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Leonard Andrzejewski
Wieslaw Bednarz
Zbigniew Borek
Ryszard W. Borsucki
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Storyline

The plot couldn't be simpler or its attack on capital punishment (and the act of killing in general) more direct - a senseless, violent, almost botched murder is followed by a cold, calculated, flawlessly performed execution (both killings shown in the most graphic detail imaginable), while the murderer's idealistic young defence lawyer ends up as an unwilling accessory to the judicial murder of his client. Written by Michael Brooke <michael@everyman.demon.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 October 1988 (France)  »

Also Known As:

No matarás  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The quote mentioned by Piotr during his final examination, "...since Cain the world has neither been intimidated nor ameliorated by punishment ...", is from Karl Marx (explaining why the examiners know the source), published on January 28, 1853. See more »

Quotes

Jacek Lazar: I didn't listen in court, not until you called to me. They were all... all against me.
Piotr Balicki: Against what you did.
Jacek Lazar: Same thing...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Parole Officer (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

 
only to be watched on sunny days...
26 January 1999 | by (london uk) – See all my reviews

The bleakest, most powerful of Kieslowski's Dekalog series opens with half the screen black, and the other half full of a cat hanged by the neck from a street railing. Children scamper off in the background, laughing. The words of the title appear over the black. Bam. We're in. And we're not allowed out of this bleak, miserable world until the end credits. We must crawl through a world where humour is exiled and bitterness and cynicism reign, with our eyes fitted with lenses hand-painted by the director, turning Warsaw into a jaded defeated landscape of dirty sepias and dishwater greys. The story is simple; a young man kills a taxi driver and is, in turn, killed by the state. Just as the title says. There is no humour, no light relief. It's awful, somehow beautiful, constantly disturbing. It's dirty and tawdry. While cinema barrages us daily with glib murders by the bucketful, Kieslowski gives us just two, and shows us killing for what it is: a bare foot emerging from a shoe & sock as a dying man writhes; blood and urine dribbling into a plastic tray under the gallows. A film which haunts.


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Anti-Capital Punishment antwalsh
Kieslowki -one of the best all time directors and also very underrated Scipio28
Is It Significantly Different from Hour Version? webuiltthiscityonrockand
'Since Cain, no punishment has proved to be an adequate remedy.' dan_saunders151
about the taxi driver etc. petermichaelwilson
the Nursery rhyme sherlockchanhk
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