In this disturbing, two-act moral fable, hostile drifter Jacek (Baka) brutally murders a taxi driver (Tesarz) in a protracted and deliberate fashion — but for no apparent reason. Assigned to his defense, lawyer Piotr (Globisz) wrestles with the evil audacity of his client's crime even as he's forced to combat the state's push for an execution.
Why we love it
Part of the famed "Decalogue" series which Polish director Kieslowski created for television, "Killing" is a moody, thought-provoking meditation on the Fifth Commandment. Is Jacek's atrocity crueler than state-sanctioned murder? Is capital punishment morally defensible? As his troubled characters wander around in a world heavy with ominous portents — including a bleak opening shot of a dead rat and hanged cat — Kieslowski masterfully weighs the balance.