8.1/10
12,368
41 user 41 critic

Krótki film o zabijaniu (1988)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama | 26 October 1988 (France)
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 »
Reviews

Watch Now

With Prime Video

ON DISC
8 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

An innocent virgin spies on his frontal neighbor and falls in love with her, thus starts using tricks on her which he hopes will lead to them meeting.

Director: Krzysztof Kieslowski
Stars: Grazyna Szapolowska, Olaf Lubaszenko, Stefania Iwinska
Przypadek (1987)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Witek runs after a train. Three variations follow on how such a seemingly banal incident could influence the rest of Witek's life.

Director: Krzysztof Kieslowski
Stars: Boguslaw Linda, Tadeusz Lomnicki, Zbigniew Zapasiewicz
No End (1985)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

It's 1982: Poland is under martial law, and Solidarity is banned. Ulla, a translator working on Orwell, suddenly loses her husband, Antek, an attorney. She is possessed by her grief, and ... See full summary »

Director: Krzysztof Kieslowski
Stars: Grazyna Szapolowska, Maria Pakulnis, Aleksander Bardini
Amator (1979)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Filip buys an eight-millimetre movie camera when his first child is born. Because it's the first camera in town, he's named official photographer by the local Party boss. His horizons widen... See full summary »

Director: Krzysztof Kieslowski
Stars: Jerzy Stuhr, Malgorzata Zabkowska, Ewa Pokas
Drama | Fantasy | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Two parallel stories about two identical women; one living in Poland, the other in France. They don't know each other, but their lives are nevertheless profoundly connected.

Director: Krzysztof Kieslowski
Stars: Irène Jacob, Wladyslaw Kowalski, Halina Gryglaszewska
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

After his wife divorces him, a Polish immigrant plots to get even with her.

Director: Krzysztof Kieslowski
Stars: Zbigniew Zamachowski, Julie Delpy, Janusz Gajos
Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A model discovers her neighbor is keen on invading people's privacy.

Director: Krzysztof Kieslowski
Stars: Irène Jacob, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Frédérique Feder
Drama | Music | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A woman struggles to find a way to live her life after the death of her husband and child.

Director: Krzysztof Kieslowski
Stars: Juliette Binoche, Zbigniew Zamachowski, Julie Delpy
Dekalog (1989–1990)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.1/10 X  

Ten television drama films, each one based on one of the Ten Commandments.

Stars: Artur Barcis, Olgierd Lukaszewicz, Aleksander Bardini
Life Story (1975)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A communist party control committee interrogates a worker and party activist who is to be excluded from the party.

Director: Krzysztof Kieslowski
Blizna (1976)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

1970. After discussions and dishonest negotiations, a decision is taken as to where a large new chemical factory is to be built and Bednarz, an honest Party man, is put in charge of the ... See full summary »

Director: Krzysztof Kieslowski
Stars: Franciszek Pieczka, Mariusz Dmochowski, Jerzy Stuhr
City Life (1990)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A kaleidoscopic panorama of the world.A visual anthology of twelve short stories by twelve innovative directors from all over the world.

Directors: Alejandro Agresti, Gábor Altorjay, and 11 more credits »
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
...
...
adwokat Piotr Balicki
...
taksówkarz Waldemar Rekowski
...
Przewodniczacy Komisji
Barbara Dziekan ...
Bileterka
...
Kat
Jerzy Zass ...
Naczelnik
Zdzislaw Tobiasz ...
Sedzia
...
Mlody medczyzna
...
Dorota
...
Andrzej
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Kumpel pijanego na postoju taksówek (as L. Andrzejewski)
Wieslaw Bednarz ...
(as W. Bednarz)
Zbigniew Borek ...
(as Z. Borek)
Ryszard W. Borsucki ...
(as R. W. Borsucki)
Edit

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:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 October 1988 (France)  »

Also Known As:

No matarás  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
Edit

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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
One of the best films of the last 20 years
19 December 2005 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

A Short Film About Killing is Polish director Krzysztof Kieslowski's feature length adaptation of the hour long piece belonging to the Dekalog series, a collection of modern representations of the ten commandments set in a socio-realist Warsaw in Poland. This film, 'thou shalt not kill', is a film essentially about two separate 'murders'. Jacek, a young adolescent, kills an innocent taxi driver in a seemingly motiveless crime for which he is tried and executed at the hands of the state.

Inherently simple in terms of its plot, A Short Film About Killing is a complex indictment on all forms of killing, whether in the form of an act of brutal murder, or an organised and legal murder wrapped in the arms of the law. Kieslowski, clearly inspired by the human-issues documentary movement in the 70's, has presented the film as a bleak and depressing reality. Filmed on location, the run down post-cold war communist Warsaw in Poland provides a cold and melancholic back drop to the film. The documentary feel of the film is intensified by the way it is filmed, with no tracking or dolly shots, just an observing camera placing us, the undiscerning viewer right in the thick of it. This can make the affect of the scenes in the film somewhat sickening at times, however it was clearly intended by Kieslowski, who wanted to show how disgusting murder is. The subtle green filter used on the camera, gives the celluloid a dreary appearance, pertaining to the bleak mood of the film. This minimalistic photography allows us to focus on the detailed reactions and actions of the characters in the film, which come to a horrifying climax during both murder sequences, probably two of the most superbly executed murder sequences ever committed to film.

Kieslowski doesn't try to explain Jacek's murder because he clearly wants to avoid condoning it with motives that might make the audience feel sorry for him. Instead, Kieslowski simply presents Jacek's execution as a counterpoint to the murder of the taxi driver, thus forcing us to compare the the horrific nature of both acts, revealing the crux of the film. The first murder in the back of the taxi is with out a doubt horrific, but the execution is just as unforgivable, illustrating that although legal, capital punishment is devoid of humanity and veracity, in all the same ways as cold blooded murder itself. It is a brilliant illustration of the failings and contradictory nature of capital punishment, which replicate the actions of a murderer instead of upholding justice.

It was clearly the intention of Kieslowski to underline this in his film. He believed, like many others, that capital punishment has no place in the 20th century. I wouldn't be surprised if many who start this film as pro capital punishment, end up strongly against it by the time the credits roll. If this sounds too presumptuous, then consider the fact that A Short Film About Killing led to the suspension of capital Punishment in Poland. This surely proves the power of the film.


63 of 67 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?