New from Kevin Wozniak on Kevflix: Chicago International Film Festival Movie Review: The Killing of a Journalist

 

Following in the footsteps of recent documentaries Collective and Navalny, The Killing of a Journalist is another startling and powerful documentary about the death of a journalist and the government conspiracy behind it.

The Killing of a Journalist looks at the story of investigative journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kusnirova, who were brutally murdered in Slovakia in 2018. Using evidence uncovered by Kuciak’s colleagues, the film looks at the mob-style hit on Kuciak connected to the highest Slovakian government officials.

Chicago-born director Matt Sarnecki has crafted a tight, gripping thriller about mob ties in the Slovakian government and how that ultimately led to the murder of Kuciak and his fiancée. Interviewing those who worked closest with Kuciak, we see their investigation and how it kept going higher and higher up in the Slovakian government. The footage and images Sarnecki shows in the film are incredible. From heart-stirring moments like seeing the demonstrations of over 60,000 people demanding the police act for Kuciak’s death to the shocking crime scene footage of the murder, Sarnecki shows us the details of the investigation and the overall effect it has on everyone in Slovakia.

The Killing of a Journalist (Final Cut for Real)
The Killing of a Journalist (Final Cut for Real)

The most chilling sequence in the film is the recreation of Kuciak’s murder. Throughout the investigation, the two men who were hired to take out Kuciak had been arrested. We see scenes where they are questioned by the police, explaining how everything went down. The shooter of Kuciak and his fiancée, the other one was the driver, was then taken back to the house where Kuciak and his fiancée were murdered and does a recreation of how the murder transpired. He goes step by step about how the shooting went down, from the knock on the door to when he left the home. It is a haunting sequence, and you are watching a cold-blooded killer show how he murdered two people in such a matter-of-fact way, you can’t help but be shaken to your core.

Beyond the stunning images and footage Sarnecki gives us, he never forgets that Kuciak and Kusnirova were human beings and that their murder was a tragedy that affected many. The interviews with their parents are heartbreaking and seeing how important Kuciak was to his colleagues and investigative journalism and the fight against corruption was inspiring. We also see how their murder affected the entire country of Slovakia. With chants and signs reading “An attack on a journalist is an attack on all of us”, we see how important freedom of the press is to the people of Slovakia and how the murder of Kuciak and Kusnirova put that in jeopardy. By the end of the film, you understand how loved and important Kuciak and Kusnirova were to their families, their colleagues, and freedom of the press.

The Killing of a Journalist is an important and gripping documentary about a tragedy that sparked a nation and the investigation that followed.

 

 

The Killing of a Journalist played in the Documentary program of the 2022 Chicago International Film Festival.

 

 

 

 

 

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The post Chicago International Film Festival Movie Review: The Killing of a Journalist appeared first on Kevflix.

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