• Krysztof Kieslowski, Thou Shalt Not Kill

    The first shot is of a dead rat in a murky puddle. It is followed by a shot of a cat that has just been hung by a gang of children. Eventually, we realize that the animals represent the fates of two of the film’s characters: one is senselessly murdered and the other is killed by the state for his actions. The title of Krysztof Kieslowski’s film, Thou Shalt Not Kill, 1988, is bluntly explanatory. Its emphasis is on two violent acts, one condoned and one condemned by the state. They are not mere pretexts on which to base a film; they do not trigger a police story, a whodunit, or a series of

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