Last updated: January 5, 2010




Veteran Polish director Jerzy Skolimowski is to start location shooting this month for his latest feature, The Essence of Killing. 


A joint Polish-French-Israeli production, it tells the story of a Taliban member who kills three American soldiers in Afghanistan and then is taken captive by the Americans. He is transferred to Europe for interrogation but manages to run away, becoming an escaped convict on a continent he does not know. The main protagonist is played by Vincent Gallo, a prominent figure of American independent cinema, known as a director, actor and scriptwriter. 


After a shooting period in the Dead Sea area, the film crew will move to Norway and Poland. The film was listed by the Eurimages - European Cinema Support Fund as one of the films to receive support for co-production this year.


Seventy one year-old Skolimowski started his film-making career as a co-author of script for Polanski’s debut feature Knife in the Water (together with Polanski). His early films – Identification Mark, Barrier, Walkover and Hands Up – represented the so-called ‘new wave’ in Polish cinema. The 1967 feature Hands Up was banned by communist censorship and did not go on general release until the Solidarity revolution in 1981, the controversy surrounding the film becoming one of the reasons behind Skolimowski’s decision to emigrate.  


Since 1970, he has worked in Italy, France, Britain and the United States. Le Depart, made in Belgium in 1967 and awarded the Golden Bear at the Berlin Festival, skyrocketed Skolimowski to international fame. 


Three of his films were awarded at the Cannes Festival - The Shout, Moonlighting and The Lightship. His credits also include The Deep End and 30 Door Key. In recent years he devoted himself to painting, with exhibitions in the United States, Greece, France, Italy and Poland.

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