"Peter: Portrait of a Killer" is a psychological study of "Yorkshire Ripper" Peter Sutcliffe who from 1969 to 1981 killed 13 women and assaulted 7 others in and around Yorkshire, England.
The movie interlaces actual media footage from the time with surrealistic and dreamy artistry to give an interpretation of Peter's psychological condition. The actual media footage contains interviews with Peter's father, media reports from TV networks, and interviews with police officers.
The movie has a vibrant, intense, and surreal mood throughout and refrains, to the movie's benefit, from ever portraying the vulgarity of the crimes or violence of any kind. The movie generally uses Christian motifs as a foundation for the psychological interpretation and balances it out with some modern psychoanalytical ideas.
Part of the impressiveness of the movie is its lack of any type of bias against Peter or clichéd psychoanalysis that you would normally expect from a movie like this. The movie at times tends to even glorify Peter as a sort of crucified Christ figure and sides against the police and the modern community, a fact that will probably upset a lot of people but something that makes for a more interesting and fair movie.
While it is clear the budget for this film was small, it ends up being a very visually impressive movie anyway. While the writing does not stun you with its depth of thinking, it has enough depth and originality to leave you intellectually satisfied.
Overall a very well done movie that is worth watching mainly for the uniquely surrealistic moods and the colorfully intense visual artistry you see in it. 8 out of 10 stars.
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