A Short Film About Killing

A Short Film About Killing ★★★★

I didn’t much care for the sepia filters and the obscuring framing effects of the cinematography. I found it a little heavy handed. But the parallels between the murder and the state sanctioned execution are effectively communicated, successfully stripping away the illusions of real moral distinction. The Murder and subsequent execution are shot as equally violent and pointless. And the execution ends up as nothing more than a replication of the act of killing. The naturalistic examination of trauma and violence revealed through the dialogue between Jacek and Piotr before the execution is probably the best part of the film for me, elevating it above what would otherwise be a hallow experience. 

Ultimately, it seeks to strip away the layers of intellectual decoration and rationalization behind the death penalty and show it for what it simply is. An act of killing. In that, it is successful. That said, I wouldn’t quite put it up there with some of the more substantial cinematic criticisms of the death penalty, especially Death by Hanging.

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