A Short Film About Killing

Watch A Short Film About Killing

  • NR
  • 1987
  • 1 hr 24 min
  • 8.0  (22,129)

A Short Film About Killing is a 1988 Polish drama film, directed by Krzysztof Kieślowski. The movie is part of the overall project "Dekalog", which is a ten-part series of hour-long films, loosely based on the Ten Commandments. The short film, which is the fifth segment of the series, tells a story about a brutal killing and its consequential impact on the individuals involved, including the perpetrator, victim, and the state. The movie explores the depth of human morality, the cruelty of the justice system, and the social conditions that can lead to senseless violence.

The story revolves around Jacek Lazar, a troubled young man who kills a taxi driver in a brutal and unprovoked attack. Jacek is apprehended by the authorities and put on trial for his crime. The movie depicts the court proceedings with an unflinching emphasis on the rigid legal system and the attitudes of the judges, lawyers, and witnesses.

Throughout the trial, we see the stark contrast between Jacek's troubled upbringing and the affluent backgrounds of the judges, who are largely unsympathetic towards his plight. The film takes a critical stance towards the justice system, portraying it as a bureaucratic entity that is often cruel and dehumanizing.

The movie also highlights the dismal living conditions in 1980s Poland, which contribute to Jacek's sense of alienation and hopelessness. Jacek's desperation is compounded by his inability to find a job or improve his lot in life, leading him to lash out violently against others.

The film's visual style is minimalist, with a muted color palette and stark lighting. The movie's restrained visual approach adds to the overall sense of detachment and coldness.

The acting in the movie is exceptional, with Miroslaw Baka giving a powerful performance as Jacek, conveying his character's emotional turmoil with haunting intensity. Krzysztof Globisz is equally compelling in his portrayal of Piotr Balicki, the defense attorney tasked with representing Jacek in court.

Jan Tesarz also delivers a noteworthy portrayal of the victim, Mr. Andrzeiak, a taxi driver who is portrayed as a sympathetic and hardworking individual. The movie's exploration of the devastating impact of violence on ordinary people is one of its most poignant themes.

Overall, A Short Film About Killing is a thought-provoking and deeply moving film that raises important questions about the nature of humanity and justice. The movie's unflinching depiction of violence and bleak portrayal of societal conditions make it a difficult watch, but one that is well worth the experience.

A Short Film About Killing
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 24 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    8.0  (22,129)