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 »
Lilja is 16 years old. Her only friend is the young boy Volodja. They live in Estonia, fantasizing about a better life. One day, Lilja falls in love with Andrej. He is going to Sweden, and invites Lilja to come along and start a new life.
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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 »
In Warsaw, the violent sociopath Jacek Lazar (Miroslaw Baka) wanders through the streets committing minor acts of violence. He gets a taxi and kills the driver Waldemar Rekowski (Jan Tesarz) without any reason or motive. Meanwhile, the idealistic Piotr Balicki (Krzysztof Globisz) has just graduated as a lawyer and is assigned to defend Jacek, but loses the case and the youngster is sentence to death.
Capital punishment is a polemic theme, where many people approve or disapprove this sentence. The director Krzysztof Kieslowski uses one of the Ten Commandments, "You Shall not Murder", to defend his position against Death Penalty, no matter whether legally executed by the State in accordance with the laws. The provoking "Krótki Film o Zabijaniu" is a simple and melancholic feature, with depressing colors and no redemption; the performances are top-notch and the murders are extremely violent and dreadful; however Kieslowski manipulates the audiences with the brutal sequence of the execution of Jacek and he is effective in his intent. The story isolates the victim and is focused in the killer, avoiding any sympathy with the wife, relatives and friends of Waldemar. The film never shows the widow of Waldemar and the consequences of his loss to his family. When Piotr is submitted to his final oral test, he says that justice is flawed since Cain but serves as example to avoid similar crimes. In my country there is no Death Penalty, but the present days, where increasing violence is everywhere, with criminals, terrorists and deranged people committing hideous crimes, would the families and friends of the victims agree with this beautiful and poetic position or would prefer the ancient "an eye for an eye"?. My vote is seven.
Title (Brazil): "Não Matarás" ("You Shall not Murder")
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