Short film about killing-Krzysztof Kieslowski


The DVD series of Krzysztof Kieslowski‘s pieces were released from Kino Films. Short film about killing is the movie version edited from a short TV drama series,Decalogue. Cinematography is Slawomir Idiak, who also worked together with Kieslowski in La Double vie de V?ronique, Trois couleurs: Bleu, (also other movies such as Gattaca, Black Hawk Down. The DVD includes Idiak's interview how he worked with Kieslowski to produce this strong theme through a unique visual images.

On the Warsaw street, a young man is wandering around--it seems that he doesn't spend time working, without much passion to life itself. His eyes are looking around with a strangely awkward but intense emotion hidden inside of his mind. His mind does not look inside of himself, though, and then his gaze always sees outward world around him.

From a pedestrian overbridge, he quietly drops some stones to those cars passing by. The camera captures him looking down the highway, while the audience hear the sound of crushing windshield. He walks away with a slight smile on his face--that illustrates a suppressed impulse toward the unspecified number of general, or toward anything, anyone surrounding himself.

Warsaw at that time--it seemed the communism Society was mature and functional, although many people, especially young generation like him, could have had hidden frustration and revolt against the dry, suppressed society where such frustration could not be pointed anywhere.
Now the society exists like a invisible air, which does not lead people with passion for living. The exultation of the victory of proletariat that communism once held up as a utopian goal--it gradually disappeared as an illusion, and it no longer led people. Within such sedated society, most of the people obey to the standard, average reality to be accepted. However, those who can not adopt to such reality, he can not even point and direct his emotion and impulse. In a scene when the young man gazes at a policeman with that intense eyes. But once the policeman leaves from his view, his emotion looses the point of direction once again. 

Gradually such suppressed emotion leads to the point of no return. He picked up a cab and told the driver to go out of the city. The driver's background had been told in the film a little, but he is no more than an average middle-age person in the society, other than he also has some bitterness in his character. When the cab came around to a less populated suburb, the young man took out a rope he prepared and scragged the driver. He carried out the body of the driver to the riverside, but the driver came back to consciousness. Even though the driver begged for not killing him, the young man dropped a large heavy stone onto driver's head.

Once the young man realized he killed a man, he "shed tears." The dark swirling emotion that commited the crimeーーnow came to realize and he faced the reality of killing by seeing a man dying. It was a dead end and there was not a thing where he had reached. He just realized that he came to a desparate blind alley once again.

Then the scene changes, and now it plays in the court of law. The young man was arrested and recive a judge. His laywer is another newly appointed young man, still passionate for justice. Even though the laywer tried his best, the young man was sentenced to death. At this moment, "murder" shifts from the young man's murder to the murder of the society and its system hidden until this moment.

The young laywer listens to the last confession of the young man before the execution of the death penalty. His confession now illuminates the dark emotion triggered by the accidental death of his younger sister. This scene overwhelms the audience with emotion, but the film seems to be trying to tells this young man is no more or less than anybody in the society, and the audience.
And the execution of the death penalty. Like the murder of the driver scene, the execution is depicted in detail, and that strongly makes us see not just an "execution of a death penalty" but a "murder" commited by a society and its system--he is a victim of it.

It is so shocking to me as a Japanese that this film was broadcasted through "public broadcasting channel" to the general audience, because the theme of this film contains strong message and criticism agaist the social system. East Europe's depth of accepting such bold statement reaching toward the truth of human beings--its culture has the place that does allow the creation of such statement.

That suppressed dark emotion is also swirling inside of the people in today's Japan, especially among younger. Where can the true humanity stay--by looking at today's Japanese reality, I can not help thinking about such question.
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