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

8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 8,513 users  
Reviews: 34 user | 32 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

Plot Keywords:

murder | murderer | blood | lawyer | execution | See more »

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
See  »
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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

 
Dark doesn't mean ugly...
17 July 2005 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

I am sure this is not the most depressing film ever made, I am sure that somewhere, some time, some one has made a more distressing and emotionally powerful look at humans in all there glory. I'm sure people have endeavoured to make a film that makes a city (in this case Warsaw) look bleaker and darker. And I'm sure that this isn't the most painful spiral downhill voyage any character has ever made on celluloid. I'm also sure that this movie is the darkest movie on every level I have ever seen.

The director uses dark filters at time to make this movie almost black, but all that is does is replicate the feel of the material. Which was essentially an anti capital punishment movie. We follow a young man's trip to the dark side, troubled by an unnamed past this movie is a lot like The Machinist or Requiem for A Dream, we can see this man faltering and we feel helpless. The movie is compelling the same way a car wreck is.

You shouldn't be able to watch a movie this black, from the start with a cat in a terrible position to the end with a human in a terrible position, this is only a film that could have been made in Europe. Humans are painted in a despicable way, but it's the city of Warsaw that looks like it's about to grab you at any moment.

This is a very visual way of telling a story, words are almost not necessary throughout the whole film, except a brilliant conversation between lawyer and client. And another brilliant thing about this movie is there is not a "the capital punishment law is wrong" speech by a lawyer to be seen, the movie tells you what it wants you to know without a lawyer ramming in down your throat.

Subtle is best. And in this case a picture does tell a thousand words.

This is a slow burning painfully beautiful look at killing, and if you can sit through its 80 minutes of bleakness, you may never forget its imagery.


36 of 42 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
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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