A Short Film About Killing

Friday, September 16 - Thursday, September 22, 2016

For info on the entire DEKALOG series, including A SHORT FILM ABOUT LOVE & A SHORT FILM ABOUT KILLING—plus special DEKALOG trivia!—click here.

In order to secure funding from the Minister of Culture and Telewizja Polska (TVP) and Sender Freies Berlin (SFB), the television stations that produced the series, director Krzysztof Kieślowski and coscreenwriter Krzysztof Piesiewicz decided to turn two of the segments of Dekalog into feature-length films for theatrical distribution. They chose Dekalog: Six to become A Short Film About Love, and the television stations chose Dekalog: Five to become A SHORT FILM ABOUT KILLING.

In A SHORT FILM ABOUT KILLING, Jacek, an angry drifter, murders a taxi driver, brutally and without motive. His case is assigned to Piotr, an idealistic young lawyer who is morally opposed to the death penalty, and their interactions take on an emotional honesty that throws into stark relief for Piotr the injustice of killing of any kind.

Jacek – Mirosław Baka
Piotr – Krzysztof Globisz
Taxi driver – Jan Tesarz
Road worker, man with ladder – Artur Barciś
Dorota – Krystyna Janda
Andrzej – Olgierd Łukaszewicz
Executioner – Aleksander Bednarz
Prosecutor – Maciej Maciejewski
Law school examiner – Zbigniew Zapasiewicz

Special DEKALOG trivia:

Cinematographer Sławomir Idziak didn’t exactly want the job of shooting DEKALOG: FIVE and A SHORT FILM ABOUT KILLING. In protest, he made the test shots look shockingly ugly, as he felt the topic of murder called for, and in hopes that Kieślowski would fire him. Idziak’s plan backfired, and ultimately he designed over 500 unique camera and lighting filters for the production.

When A SHORT FILM ABOUT KILLING was distributed theatrically, the scene showing Jacek murdering the taxi driver was believed to be the longest murder scene in cinema history.

A DEKALOG pass, good for admission to any screening of each of the five, paired hour-long parts plus a screening of each of the two A SHORT FILM ABOUT features, is available for $55 ($35 for IFC Center members) online or at the box office. Just select the appropriate ticket price when purchasing.


  • Country Poland
  • Year 1988
  • Running Time 90 minutes
  • Director Krzysztof Kieślowski

IFC Center does not generally provide advisories about subject matter or potentially triggering content in films, as sensitivities vary from person to person. In addition to the synopses, trailers and other links on our website, further information about content and age-appropriateness for specific films can be found on Common Sense Media, IMDb and DoesTheDogDie.com as well as through general internet searches.