Dekalog 5: 'Thou shalt not kill'

Kieslowski's extraordinary film depicts two acts of slaughter. Pimply country kid Yatzek (Baka) unexplainedly kills a taxi-driver. The State then kills him. Both are deaths by hanging, of different kinds, both shown in graphic detail and in real time, shocking in itself. The effect is deeply unsettling. Kieslowski shoots in a calm, heightened-realist style, using multiple filters to bleed and darken the colours of the dour locations, and gets to the heart of our inability to obey the edict 'Thou shalt not kill', thus suggesting the mystery of our deepest motives, without preaching or simplification. A raw, edgy, challenging work originally made, like the rest of the Dekalog, for TV; Kieslowski himself expanded it into an 85-minute theatrical version entitled A Short Film About Killing.

By: WH

Release details

Cast and crew

Director: Krzysztof Kieslowski
Screenwriter: Krzysztof Kieslowski, Krzystof Piesiewicz
Cast: Miroslaw Baka
Krzysztof Globisz
Jan Tesarz
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