Essential Killing

Release date: 22-10-2010
Director: Jerzy Skolimowski

directed by Jerzy Skolimowski written by Ewa Piaskowska, Jerzy Skolimowski director of photography Adam Sikora production design by Joanna Kaczyńska costume design by Anne Hamre music by Paweł Mykietyn sound by Robert Flanagan edited by Réka Lemhényi, Maciej Pawliński make-up artist Barbara Conway production manager Andrzej Stempowski producers Ewa Piaskowska, Jerzy Skolimowski produced by Skopia Film co-financed by the Polish Film Institute
cast Vincent Gallo (Mohammed), Emmanuelle Seigner (Margaret), Zach Cohen, David Price, Nicolai Cleve Broch, Mark Gaspersich, Klaudia Kąca, Dariusz Juzyszyn distributed by Syrena Films

Poland / Norway / Hungary / Ireland 2010


The story of an Afghan fighter taken into custody by US troops for killing three soldiers. Transported to a a military black site somewhere in Europe for interrogation, he escapes from captivity and commits more crimes.



  • 67th Venice International Film Festival (2010) – Special Jury Prize and Coppa Volpi Award for Best Actor (Vincent Gallo)

Jerzy Skolimowski

Born in 1938. Acclaimed director, screenwriter, actor, painter, poet, and playwright. Graduate of the Łódź Film School. Winner of multiple awards at international film festivals, including Cannes, Berlin, and Venice.

Filmography (selected works):
1964: Rysopis; 1965: Walkower (Walkover); 1966: Bariera (Barrier); 1967/1981: Ręce do góry; 1967: Le Départ; 1970: Deep End; 1972: 1971: Król, dama, walet (King, Queen, Knave); 1978: Wrzask (The Shout); 1982: Fucha (Moonlighting); 1984: Success Is the Best Revenge; 1986: The Lightship; 1989: Wiosenne wody (Torrents of Spring); 1991: Ferdydurke (30 Door Key); 2008: Cztery noce z Anną (Four Nights with Anna); 2010: Essential Killing


Translated by Karolina Kołtun