A Short Film About Killing

A Short Film About Killing

A Short Film About Killing is a 1988 drama film directed by Krzysztof Kieślowski and starring Mirosław Baka, Krzysztof Globisz, and Jan Tesarz. Written by Krzysztof Kieślowski and Krzysztof Piesiewicz, the film was expanded from Dekalog: Five of the Polish television series Dekalog. Set in Warsaw, Poland, the film compares the senseless, violent murder of an individual to the cold, calculated execution by the state. A Short Film About Killing won both the Jury Prize and the FIPRESCI Prize at the 1988 Cannes Film Festival, as well as the European Film Award for Best Film.


Waldemar Rekowski (Jan Tesarz) is a middle-aged taxicab driver in Warsaw who enjoys his profession and the freedom it affords. His concern for turning a profit leads him to ignore some potential fares in favor of others. An overweight and crude man, Waldemar also enjoys staring at young women. Jacek Łazar (Mirosław Baka) is a 21-year-old drifter who recently arrived in Warsaw from the countryside and is now aimlessly wandering the streets of the city. He seems to take pleasure in causing other people's misfortunes: he throws a stranger into the urinals of a public toilet after being approached sexually; he drops a large stone from a bridge onto a passing vehicle causing an accident; and he scares away pigeons to spite an old lady who was feeding them. Piotr Balicki (Krzysztof Globisz) is a young and idealistic lawyer who has just passed the bar exam. He takes his wife to a café where they discuss their future. At the same café, Jacek is sitting at a table handling a length of rope and a stick which he keeps in his bag. The rope and stick appear to be a weapon. He puts away the rope and stick when he spots two girls playing at the other side of the window and he engages in a game with them.