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Essential Killing (2010)

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An Afghan POW attempts his escape.

Director:

Jerzy Skolimowski

Writers:

Jerzy Skolimowski (screenplay), Ewa Piaskowska (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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14 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Vincent Gallo ... Mohammed
Emmanuelle Seigner ... Margaret
Zach Cohen Zach Cohen ... American Contractor 1
Iftach Ophir Iftach Ophir ... American Contractor 2
Nicolai Cleve Broch ... Helicopter Pilot 1
Stig Frode Henriksen ... Helicopter Pilot 2
David L. Price ... Interrogation Officer (as David Price)
Tracy Spencer Shipp Tracy Spencer Shipp ... Young Soldier in Suv
Mark Gasperich Mark Gasperich ... Head of Pursuit Team
Phillip Goss Phillip Goss ... Military Doctor
Klaudia Kaca Klaudia Kaca ... Woman on a Bicycle
Dariusz Juzyszyn Dariusz Juzyszyn ... Logger
Raymond Josey Raymond Josey ... American Soldier
Robert Mazurkiewicz Robert Mazurkiewicz ... Hunter
Janusz Wojtarowicz Janusz Wojtarowicz ... Margaret's Husband
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Storyline

A Taliban member who lives in Afghanistan is taken captive by the Americans after killing an American soldier and two contractors. He is transferred to Europe for interrogation but manages to escape from his captors and becomes an escaped convict on a continent he does not know. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Run to live... kill to survive (UK)

Genres:

Thriller | War

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Poland | Norway | Ireland | Hungary | France

Language:

English | Polish | Arabic

Release Date:

22 October 2010 (Poland) See more »

Also Known As:

Essence See more »

Filming Locations:

Enebakkneset, Akershus, Norway See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

€3,167,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Vincent Gallo was cast on the strength of his performance in Francis Ford Coppola's Tetro (2009). See more »

Goofs

After Mohammed falls in the water he climbs out of the lake. However, in the following scene with the dog he seems dry. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Na plovárne: Na plovárne s Agnieszkou Holland (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Y Dopatrzenia
Music written by Rafal Modlinski, Karol Ludew, Piotr Leniewicz and Adam Adamczyk and words by Adam Adamczyk
Performed by Moja Adrenalina
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
a quiet and fascinating movie that takes risks.
14 March 2011 | by czarnoneSee all my reviews

This film defies almost every cinematic convention in the book. In many ways it reminds me of the style of Tarkovsky. Of course, as with Tarkovsky, this will likely leave those with conventional expectations confused, bored and thinking it makes no sense. It uses a lot of metaphorical and allegorical imagery and if people a. expect things to be literal and clearly spelled out with an obvious narrative or b. don't have the background or context to understand these metaphors they are probably going to find the film awful. It also lacks a clear moral position or message as we normally expect from movies. The atmosphere of the movie evokes the tone of Kosinski's book "The Painted Bird" to me in an odd way; another stranger in - the same - strange land.

The movie is surprisingly non-political and doesn't seem to ask the viewer to agree with or condemn the character (though sympathies are challenged). It reminds me very much of the old ink-blot tests and leaves A LOT for the viewer to fill in. The resulting interpretation *may* even be correct BUT not the only way it can be interpreted and I think people's predispositions very much effect how they see the movie and, like the ink-blot tests, the assumptions one makes can be revealing. If one is inclined to see the west's incursions into the mid-east as imperialistic or otherwise wrong-headed, they are likely to see the lead actor as a victim or as an any-man trying to escape the inescapable. If a viewer is biased to assume anyone that looks middle-eastern is likely guilty of being a terrorist, they will probably view him as a Taliban or Al Qaeda member and have little or no sympathy for him or his plight. (i.e. note the extremes in the reviews on this board.) And it is open for interpretations beyond these. Despite advertising, when we first see him he is unarmed it is not clearly indicated that he is a Taliban, a terrorist, or even a militant at all. Though he might be...

Excellent camera work. The music is jarring and angular but fits. Huge kudos to Gallo. Unlike anything else he's done and he seems incredibly right for the role.

A great movie but more for the cinephile and not for the mainstream. Definitely not a Hollywood movie.


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