REVIEW: ESSENTIAL KILLING
Vincent Gallo (Buffalo ’66) gives an award-winning performance as Mohammed, a Taliban fighter captured by the U.S. military in Afghanistan after a violent desert attack goes awry. While being transported to a secret detention center in Europe, the vehicle crashes and he suddenly finds himself free. But his newfound freedom quickly disappears as he is relentlessly pursued in a snow-blanketed forest by an army that does not “officially” exist.
Directed by Jerzy Skolimowski (Four Nights with Anna, Moonlighting) and also featuring Emmanuelle Seigner (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, La Vie en Rose), the film follows Mohammed as he attempts to survive in a freezing, snow-covered forest. Although Gallo delivers a superb performance without uttering a single word in the entire film, his extreme physicality is the driving force behind his story. Nevertheless, Skolimowski relies on a desolate landscape to illustrate Mohammed’s agonizing journey as he treks through the isolated forest while hoping to maintain his freedom and survival.
As described by Richard Brody in The New Yorker: “Under the guise of current events, Skolimowski artfully conjures an elemental archetype of human life itself… the clash of civilizations and conflicts of weaponry emerge as a set of miniature epic battles of wills and wiles that predate the rival social orders.” From the Los Angeles Times: “Skolimowski’s you-are-there cameras — along with plenty of stirring helicopter shots — vividly capture the frigid terror of Mohammed’s agonizing journey as he dispatches any obstacle in his path to freedom with brutal single-mindedness.”
The film premiered on September 2010 at the 67th Venice International Film Festival and won the Grand Special Jury Prize and the Best Actor award. The film also won the Best Actor and Best Film Award at the Mar del Plata Film Festival in Argentina and the Best Director and Best Film award at the Polish Film Awards.
5.1 and 2.0 Dolby Digital Surround Sound
Interview with Director Jerzy
Submit Your Movie Review
MORE MOVIE REVIEWS