IMDb > A Short Film About Killing (1988)
Krótki film o zabijaniu
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A Short Film About Killing (1988) More at IMDbPro »Krótki film o zabijaniu (original title)

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Release Date:
26 October 1988 (France) See more »
The plot couldn't be simpler or its attack on capital punishment (and the act of killing in general) more direct - a senseless... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
7 wins & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Dark doesn't mean ugly... See more (35 total) »


  (in credits order)

Directed by
Krzysztof Kieslowski 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Krzysztof Kieslowski  writer
Krzysztof Piesiewicz  writer

Produced by
Ryszard Chutkowski .... producer
Original Music by
Zbigniew Preisner 
Cinematography by
Slawomir Idziak 
Film Editing by
Ewa Smal 
Production Design by
Halina Dobrowolska 
Art Direction by
Halina Dobrowolska 
Set Decoration by
Magdalena Dipont 
Costume Design by
Hanna Cwiklo 
Malgorzata Obloza 
Makeup Department
Dorota Sewerynska .... makeup artist
Art Department
Waldemar Weiss .... construction coordinator
Sound Department
Malgorzata Jaworska .... sound
Nikodem Wolk-Laniewski .... sound

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Krótki film o zabijaniu" - Poland (original title)
See more »
84 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

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 »
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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37 out of 43 people found the following review useful.
Dark doesn't mean ugly..., 17 July 2005
Author: the_crock from Australia

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.

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Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for A Short Film About Killing (1988)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Is It Significantly Different from Hour Version? webuiltthiscityonrockand
'Since Cain, no punishment has proved to be an adequate remedy.' dan_saunders151
Anti-Capital Punishment antwalsh
Kieslowki -one of the best all time directors and also very underrated Scipio28
about the taxi driver etc. petermichaelwilson
Filters in 'a short film about killing' *spoilers* beatricex3
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