To Kill a Man
Directed by Alejandro Fernández Almendras
How far will you go to protect your family? Jorge is a peaceful hard-working man who seeks a simple, quiet life for himself and his family. One day, he is mugged and humiliated by a gang of thugs led by Kalule, a delinquent from his neighborhood. This event infuriates his son as much for Jorge’s meek acceptance as for the act itself. The son, looking for retribution, ends up getting himself shot. Kalule is sent to jail and when he gets out 18 months later, begins a campaign of terror against Jorge and his family. The authorities do nothing, so Jorge decides to take matters into his own hands.
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★★★★ review by Dan on Letterboxd
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This is a really solid film. Jorge is a hard-working man with a wife and two kids, but he lives in a rather poor area that has started to be overrun by lowlifes. He gets bullied by one in particular, Kalule, and when his son goes to confront him, Kalule shoots him. After he serves a rather short sentence, he continues to harass Jorge and his family, and with no help from the police, Jorge takes matters into his owns.
The acting is really solid in this one. Jorge doesn't say much, but you really can feel his emotions, and how everything just beats him down in life. Unlike a lot of revenge flicks I watch (that tend to be horror), this one feels very genuine. Things don't always turn out better when bad people get what's coming to them. And you can see what kind of toll the entire situation has had on Jorge and his family. I would definitely recommend checking this one out. It's been on Amazon Prime for a while so hopefully it stays there so people can get a chance to see it.
★★★½ review by OpticPotato on Letterboxd
Part of Scavenger Hunt 17 - August 2016
Film #8 - Task #24: A film from a country that you have not yet seen any films from!
To Kill a Man is a very slow character study about a man making some stupid decisions in his life after someone pushes him to the limit.
The Writer/Director Alejandro Fernández Almendras does a great job in framing this movie. There are some pretty obvious "borders" around the characters, but it's never something that seems forced and more just a coincidence that the characters are positioned that way. The first part of the story is basically a revenge story, but the good performances in the movie elevated it. But what happens in the second half is something that made it special. It's not just a revenge with the credits rolling after it, we actually see the character, an average guy, trying to deal with what he's done.
It may have some scenes that drag a bit, but for the short runtime, To Kill a Man has quite some things to offer.
★★★½ review by Karl Leavey on Letterboxd
An excellent portrayal of a man forced to take matters into his own hands when his family is terrorized by a local thug and the justice system fails him. While not reinventing the wheel by any stretch (based on a true story) it is nevertheless a gripping, tense and very real film, wonderfully shot and with a perfectly restrained performance by leading man Daniel Antivilo.
★★★½ review by Henry_Bonkers on Letterboxd
Great score, beautifully shot with each frame perfectly balanced. Slow, laborious, yes but still very engaging and human.
★★★★ review by TheNasophiliac on Letterboxd
The beauty of Almendras' To Kill a Man is how he turns revenge into an art. There is no violence; there is no gore-- just the intimacy of excellent camerawork and a voyeuristic look into a man with little options.
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