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Disturbing Representations in Cinema and the European Film Awards



In this paper, the attention was paid to the disturbing images representing aggressive and violent behavior in the movies awarded with the European Film Award. Among the winners of the EFA awards (1988-2014) is a greater number of representations of violent behavior and death, in various forms. Whether it is about the murder, self-punishment or legitimately imposed penalty, the representation of violence as an act of punishment, lethal, is in the focus of many European filmmakers – from Kieslowski, Amelio, fon Trier, Polanski, Haneke to Pawlikovski and others. The causes should be sought in turbulent times and events that have marked Europe in recent decades. Using the examples of European award-winning films, the paper deals with the phenomenon of violence and is representation on cinema, as an individual act but also as an act in which the State punishes the perpetrators, imposing the maximum sentence. Special emphasis was given to the two films that deal with violent deaths and result with death sentences handed down by the law as formal way of violent act: A short film about Killing by K. Kieslowski (1988) and Open Doors by G. Amelio (1991). It points also to the ethical-philosophical question of prescribing the death sentence. The violence is in function of deterrent and represents a method of social impact, as anticipatory but also as a corrective factor.

Keywords: European film, disturbance, representation of violence, death punishment