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A Short Film About Killing (1988)

Krótki film o zabijaniu (original title)
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 »
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8 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Krzysztof Globisz ...
adwokat Piotr Balicki
Jan Tesarz ...
taksówkarz Waldemar Rekowski
...
Przewodniczacy Komisji
Barbara Dziekan ...
Bileterka
Aleksander Bednarz ...
Kat
Jerzy Zass ...
Naczelnik
Zdzislaw Tobiasz ...
Sedzia
...
Mlody medczyzna
...
Dorota
Olgierd Lukaszewicz ...
Andrzej
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Leonard Andrzejewski ...
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)
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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  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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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 »

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User Reviews

Straddling, Barely Outside
10 May 2009 | by (Virginia Beach) – See all my reviews

Kieslowski did something essential, important; he invented something delicate in vision. It is a way of placing self so that the world appears to us as abstract but real. But rich, not simple. Textured, in such a way that the textures are in the environment, rather than objects in the environment.

This is so obvious a place to be that we forget that it was invented, not discovered. Though almost no one else achieves this balance in art, ever, it has become already something we find naturally in ourselves.

The way he achieved this was to divide his creative self, I believe. One part, he kept to himself and used in the ordinary way we do, stumbling into insightful pleasure. The other part he gave to his creative partner and lover and completely bonded the two. In practical terms, his partner created the situations and ordinary narrative shape. Dialogue.

Kieslowski was then free to shape the cinematic environment. In an ambitious project, he worked with what we call short form in ten related small films made for TeeVee. These are amazingly rich, experimental, successful. They are where he found and gave us that balance between outside and inside: observation and intimacy, narrative fold that vanishes.

But at the same time, he knew they were only sketches of what could be. He needed to take that careful balance into the long form. Now this is a major challenge, because all of a sudden the narrative becomes a spine, not a melody. It becomes the path in the environment. The environment in his carefully conceived balance now has to be dynamic. He did later achieve this in "Three Colors," one of the most important adventures in cinema.

The way he got there was by taking two of the ten decalogue films and making them long form projects. He did not do this — as is generally believed — by simply adding footage to make a short film longer. He completely reimagined the thing from scratch. It is, in fact wholly different, though all the bits of the small project are in it, they are now part of a flow. Though the thing is longer, there are many more mysteries, more story not exposed but placed in the space alone. There is a hint of multiple observation.

There is meaning now, in the car door that mysteriously closes as we see the killer dragging the body to the water.

We owe this man, this project, this killer a lot.

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.


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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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