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A Short Film About Killing [1988] [DVD]

Miroslaw Baka , Krzysztof Globisz , Krzysztof Kieslowski    Suitable for 18 years and over   DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
Price: £4.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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A Short Film About Killing [1988] [DVD] + A Short Film About Love [DVD] [1988] + The Double Life Of Veronique [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Miroslaw Baka, Krzysztof Globisz, Jan Tesarz, Zbigniew Zapasiewicz, Barbara Dziekan
  • Directors: Krzysztof Kieslowski
  • Format: PAL, Widescreen
  • Language: Polish
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Artificial Eye
  • DVD Release Date: 29 Sep 2003
  • Run Time: 85 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00009Z52Q
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 25,718 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Krzystof Kieslowski took several years to complete his mammoth project of filming his Dekalog, each infused with a very personal motivation and dealing with conflicting opinions relating to the imperfections in both the ancient and modern legal codes. A Short Film About Killing is based on the Fifth Commandment: Thou Shalt Not Kill, and is a psychological vivisection of the brutal and senseless murder of a taxi driver by a young drifter, with no explanation offered, and no extenuating circumstances given. Kieslowski demonstrates his skill and dexterity as a master of suspense, keeping tensions rising and viewers in knots, producing a searing, powerful moral indictment of capital punishment.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
52 of 54 people found the following review helpful
By Jason Parkes #1 HALL OF FAME
A Short Film About Killing, along with A Short Film About Love (also 1988) are extended takes on Krzystof Kieslowski's brilliant TV series The Dekalog- hour long films based around the principles of the Ten Commandments. These films blew my mind when I first saw them on BBC2- perfect hour long works themselves; both Killing & Love extended on these works and stand as two of Kieslowksi's finest films alongside later celebrated works such as The Double Life of Veronique & Three Colours. Let's note also, these works were set on a housing estate in Warsaw & were low budget- aspirational filmmakers should definitely watch all of these films...
A Short Film About Killing is one of Kieslowski's greatest films, an extremely disturbing work & one that was political by default (Kieslowski tending to pursue an existential tract from No End, 1984, onwards). This film famously lead to the suspension of Capital Punishment in Poland for several years- & is a far stronger film dealing with this issue than later American films such as Dead Man Walking, Last Dance & Monster's Ball. Kieslowski & the ex-lawyer co-writer Krzystof Piesiewicz offer up a philosophical film that advances on the revered works of Ingmar Bergman...& you can't help but think of European literature such as Crime & Punishment, The Outsider/The Stranger & Woyzeck. I also thought of Richard Wright's novel Native Son...
The story is simple- a youth (Miroslaw Baka) wonders around a bit, them murders a taxi driver; he is then put through the legal process & the State murders him. That's it...As with Kieslowski's other works, there are moments of beauty- here found in some kids, a drink and a window.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Potent, honest. 1 Mar 2007
This is an extremely powerful film, made by a director who, in a very different way from Godard, sets out to demonstrate what cinema can do. The portrayal of violence is disturbing and unfamiliar because it is honest - as opposed to gratuitous or stylised - an approach which grounds the act of killing in the real world, hence the name.

Conversely, after watching this film the portrayal of killing in many other films becomes repulsive in its dishonesty, in its justification or condemnation of killing via a dualistic 'good/bad' morality. Kieslowski makes little attempt to justify or condemn either killing, but describes each in a detailed, almost matter-of-fact way. The viewer is left to apply her own morality to what she sees.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kieslowski's best film by far 29 Jun 2005
This has got to be one of the most depressing films ever made - but also one of the best. Right up there with the classic realist cinema of Ken Loach, this fascinating and troubling portrait of crime and punishment in communist-run Poland in the 1980s is rightly regarded as one of the highest achievements of World Cinema. A disaffected youth senselessly murders a taxi driver and is put on trial by the state. He is defended by an idealistic lawyer opposed to capital punishment but who is unable to save him from execution.
This is a film about two murders (both of which are distressing and violent) but it is also a film about poverty and decay. the city of Warsaw (where the film is set) is portrayed as a repellent, odious place. This is further enhanced by the greenish filter through which the film is shot. The ugly socialist-realist apartment blocks, solitary chimneys spewing out smoke - they all paint a portrait of the ugliness and hopelessness of the communist era and make you understand how someone would be driven to murder living in such depressing surroundings.
Everyone should see this film.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, brutal & disturbing 1 Feb 2005
A truly amazing film - I cannot promise that you will enjoy it, in fact I can almost guarantee that you will find it disturbing and difficult to watch. This is not because of the quality of the film, which is outstanding, but because of the subject matter and the directness with which it is tackled.
It is a film about two killings - the murder to a taxi driver by a young man and the trial and execution of the same young man by the state. There is little editorial, the films simply presents both killings in their full horrific detail. The murder of the taxi driver feels interminable as with no warning or explanation he is strangled and then battered to death with a slab. He execution of the young man is, if anything even more harrowing, as he is dragged kicking, screaming and crying to the noose. As is often the case it is the little things that are the most chilling and leave the longest lasting impact: the tears of the condemned boy, the pan to collect the human waste.
In my opinion Kieslowski was the greatest European filmmaker of the twentieth century and this film is one of his best.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cinema of the highest order 30 April 2012
Verified Purchase
After watching this film by the great Krzysztof Kieslowski, I bought all of his films without reading any reviews and I was not disappointed. Krzysztof Kieslowski is a master. All his films are thought-provoking and so much relevant to our life. They have that human touch that make them timeless classics. Poland must be proud she gave birth to such a great soul. Love from Oman : )
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