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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 8,427 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

Featured in Pirated Copy (2004) 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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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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