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Krotki Film o Zabijaniu (A short Film About Killing) (1988)

Original Title : Krótki film o zabijaniu
Director : Krzysztof Kieslowski
Writer : Krzysztof Kieslowski
Krzysztof Piesiewicz
Genre : Drama
Country : Poland
Language : Polish
Producer : Ryszard Chutkowski
Music : Zbigniew Preisner
Photography : Slavomir Idziak
IMDB ID : 0095468
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poster for "Krotki Film o Zabijaniu (A short Film About Killing)" by Krzysztof Kieslowski (1988)
Krotki Film o Zabijaniu (A short Film About Killing) (1988) - Krzysztof Kieslowski
 

Starring

Miroslaw Baka Jacek
Krzysztof Globisz Piotr
Jan Tesarz Taxi Driver
Zbigniew Zapasiewicz Przewodniczacy Komisji
Barbara Dziekan Bileterka
Aleksander Bednarz Kat
Jerzy Zass Naczelnik
Zdzislaw Tobiasz Scdzia
Artur Barcis Mlody mezcazyzna
Krystyna Janda Dorota
Olgierd Lukaszewicz Andrzej
 

Plot

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. A youth randomly, and brutally, murders a taxi-driver. Piotr has just passed his law exams and been admitted to the bar. He is to defend Jacek, the young murderer. There is no evidence for the defence and no apparent motive. Jacek is put on trial, found guilty and executed by hanging. Piotr, after his first case, is leftwith the bitter doubt - does the legal system, in the name of the people, have the right to kill with cold blood?
 

Comments

Brutal and scary but moving A young unemployed man Lazar Jacek with a sad childhood drifts aimlessly about Warsaw.He hires a taxi and murders the cab-driver.He pays for the crime with his life.The atmosphere and mood of this sombre film is established early.Is the strange colouring of the film intentional?The uneven lighting of the screen is unusual, the photographic images almost over-exposed in the centre of the screen while the edges of the screen are dark, shadowy and without much colour.At times the images with a preponderance of yellow suggest pastel drawings.The action is slow and ominous giving a feeling that something is about to happen.This tends to rivet the viewer tense in his seat.What follows is abhorrent to the eye - the cruel bashing of a man to a slow and painful death.Kieslowski likes to give us the detail.He spares nothing.The attempts of the battered victim to attract passers-by is horribly exciting.Jacek's acquisition of the taxi is short-lived.He is soon in jail.The defence lawyer recently graduated and uncertain about his own future makes an unsuccessful attempt to save the young man from the gallows.A lot of this story we have seen before but not with such detailed violence.The final scene when the lawyer visits the condemned man is probably the most moving.The preparation of the noose, the oiling of the device, the placing of the tray below the trap-door hold one rapt in disgust.The message is clear:"Thou shalt not kill!!"But thinking about it we wonder how this young life might have been saved if help had been given in his early years.It seems it all started with his little sister - killed in a tractor accident on the farm when she was only twelve.
 
poster for "Krotki Film o Zabijaniu (A short Film About Killing)"
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Krotki Film o Zabijaniu (A short Film About Killing) (1988) - Krzysztof Kieslowski
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