8.2/10
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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:
...
...
adwokat Piotr Balicki
Jan Tesarz ...
taksówkarz Waldemar Rekowski
...
Przewodniczacy Komisji
Barbara Dziekan ...
Bileterka
...
Kat
Jerzy Zass ...
Naczelnik
Zdzislaw Tobiasz ...
Sedzia
...
Mlody medczyzna
...
Dorota
...
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:

 »

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 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Kieslowski's graphic depiction of the effects of violence so shook up the Polish authorities that they declared a five year moratorium on capital punishment. 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

Edited into Histoire(s) du cinéma: Une histoire seule (1988) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Simple, yet thought provoking film about capital punishment
21 October 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

A very simple film that should make even the extreme right wing supporters of the death penalty at least question their beliefs.

Personally, I am a supporter of capital punishment, and until the final 15 minutes I was still unfazed by the film and clear in my mind that if used correctly it should be implemented. I know all the arguments about capital punishment not affecting crime rates but to be honest I don't really care about that. It's all about an eye for an eye and allowing relatives a degree of closure knowing that the perpetrator who killed their love one had suffered a similar fate.

However, and this is where this film is clever, the film doesn't allow you to see any real background to the character before committing his crime. It allows you to see only the act and judge the character on the act alone. If the film ended at the murder you would also believe capital punishment is not such a bad idea after all. Once we go past the very short trial (A long drawn out trial was rightly skipped as we already know the fate of our young man), and we get the one on one interview with the aspiring anti death penalty barrister we start to see just how screwed up this kid is, and how the rage in him is not entirely of his own making. Just as you start to question if you knew your mind doubts start to creep in and, just as quickly, before you can really gather any coherent thoughts he is whisked away to his death, and the act is entirely as abhorrent as you imagine it would be.

The nasty high risers and grainy colourless backgrounds set the scene well, and the shaded lenses, focusing on the main character highlighting his loneliness and possibly his narrow mindedness made it a rather sad film to watch, but it certainly is worth sticking with.

An 9/10 is definitely warranted


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