A Short Film About Killing
A Short Film About Killing (1988)

This disturbing and violent feature opens with a scene of a dead rat and a lifeless cat hanging by the neck. As the plot unfolds, Yatzek (Miroslaw Baka) is a 20-year-old drifter who murders a testy taxi driver (Jan Tesarz) in a… More

Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: March 11, 1988
DVD Release Date: May 11, 2004
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Critic Score: 90% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Dave Kehr
New York Daily News

Devoid of sentimentality, self-satisfaction and subconscious sexiness, A Short Film about Killing has the coolness and rigor of a mathematical proof. Yet few films have cried more passionately and articulately against the cycle of human violence.

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Tony Rayns
Time Out

The depiction of violence is far removed from the usual camera choreography, and is, in consequence, truly appalling.

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Derek Malcolm

While it is almost impossible to conceive of Kieslowski making a bad film, in the Decalogue, and particularly in Killing, style and content were perfectly matched.

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Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader

Probably the most powerful movie about the death penalty ever made.

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Caryn James
New York Times

The film forces the audience to confront the most vile aspects of life, without offering enough intellectual substance to justify sitting through such brutality.

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John Marriott
Radio Times

Kieslowski, arguably Poland's greatest contemporary director, was a true master of narrative construction, and many of his thoughtful compositions linger long in the memory.

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James Berardinelli

A Short Film About Killing is as grim as a motion picture gets, but the intelligence and insight applied to its themes will keep the viewer riveted despite the pervasive gloom.

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Edward Guthmann
San Francisco Chronicle

Kieslowski movingly demonstrates the unexpected connections that strangers make, and ponders the metaphysical forces that not only bind us, but also redeem us.

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David Parkinson
Empire Magazine

Heady stuff, not for the faint-hearted.

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More reviews for A Short Film About Killing

Flixster Audience Score: 90% Flixster User Reviews
familiar stranger
While not sufficiently short, I did get its sense of killing (in terms of length as well as its content). Its graphic violent scenes are said to be highly… More
Randy Tippy
Kieslowski's artful and unusual expression of despair.
Reid Volk
Grim, uncompromising, opaque: these are the first words that come to mind when viewing Kieslowski's "A Short Film About Killing." One of two… More
Ken Stachnik
A really well acted and crafted emotional kick in the twig and berries.
Lady D'arbanville
From a slow starting film to a realisticly, disturbing, impact of a story. This film is created with the intention to demand your attention. It's lack of… More
Luke Baldock
This time Kieslowski examines murder. Whether it be the killing of an innocent man, or the murder of a guilty man by the state. Kieslowski keeps it smart by not… More