A Short Film About Killing

Kieślowski’s first feature after Dekalog, A Short Film About Killing expands upon various interactions in V, turning brief exchanges into conversations and filling out elisions of the devastating violence. Unconstrained by the demands of state-run television, Kieślowski shows the sometimes brutal consequences of violent choices and gestures, from the opening shot in a shadowy gutter to the grim cells of the final act. Buoyed by additional sequences that give the film more private moments of triumph and youthful expectation than its hour-long progenitor, Killing also highlights class divisions and how they contribute to each character’s sense of powerlessness. Considered an instrumental contribution towards the abolition of capital punishment in Poland, this film brought Kieślowski his first international attention.

Dir. Krzysztof Kieślowski, 1988, DCP restoration, 86 min.