Zero Killed

Zero Killed
Dir: Michal Kosakowski – Germany/Austria, 2012

Since 1996 film director Michal Kosakowski has been asking people with different backgrounds about their murder fantasies. He offered them the chance to stage their fantasies as short films. The only condition was that they had to act in these films themselves, either as victims or perpetrators. More than a decade later, Kosakowski met these people again to ask them about their emotions during their acts of murder or victimization, and interviewed them about current social topics such as revenge, torture, war, terrorism, media, domestic violence, the death penalty, suicide etc.

At the age of ten Michal Kosakowski moved from Poland to Austria, where he discovered his passion for film making and film editing. The result was the foundation of Dark Productions, his independent film production company in Vienna that allowed him to experiment with his visual language following the principle of learning by doing. Kosakowski is the director, writer, producer, director of photography and editor of numerous short and experimental films, documentaries and video installations. His work includes more than 70 films, many of which have been shown in international festivals and exhibitions, and have received numerous awards.Zero Killed is his first feature.

Director’s statement: “”Murder fantasies are lonely affairs. It is a fact that people have the capacity to imagine both what they desire and what they fear. Surely everyone has encountered situations where aggressions had accumulated to such an extent that scenarios of murder and mayhem seemed the only adequate option – if only in theory. In most cases these fantasies remain suppressed and most people would feel ashamed to share them with others, no doubt because they fear unpleasant situations might arise by challenging the cultural constructs and conventions that determine our everyday life. And then, there is the banality of murder fantasies; the more banal something is, the greater the taboo it is put under in and by society. Zero Killed is my response to the continuous flood of uncommented depiction of violence in and by the media which daily undermines and erodes our capacity for empathy.”

The documentary runs the gamut of experience, mixing shocking violence with meditations on murder, revenge, torture and suicide. It could easily have slipped into ‘Torture Porn’ territory and become an infantile exercise, but instead of succumbing to teenage fantasies and lust-fuelled revenge, it shows restraint… Zero Killed moves rapidly between violence, talking heads and modern insights on ways to die. In making the film, Kosakowski has done what many don’t dare to do; he has looked at death through another’s eyes.