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Killing Time

2014 DOK Leipzig, Doc International Competition
Netherlands | 2013 | 54 min. | English | No subtitles | German Premiere
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Killing Time | Killing Time

The ministers come at 12.45 p.m.; at 1.30 p.m. the telephone lines are opened for a last phone call. While workers are cordoning off the media zone in front of the state prison and setting up a platform and lectern, television teams are starting to arrive and the protesters’ faction moves into place. Meanwhile, the perpetrator’s relatives are waiting for the act of pardon at the Hospitality Centre. Two minutes left. At 6 p.m. sharp on 12 June 2013, Elroy Chester is given the deadly injection and the execution follows its familiar routine. Business as usual in Huntsville, Texas.
Jaap van Hoewijk records the sober minutes of an act that is institutionalised and rationalised down to the minutest detail, which even the unctuous terminology of redemption used by the Christian contingent can’t conceal. Just as businesslike he lists the facts of the crime, opening up the whole dimension named in the chapters of his film – in a not coincidental evocation of Dostoyevsky –: crime and punishment.
The images make your blood curdle. How one party accepts apparently without emotion to be the criminal and assumes the role even in grief. How they wait for the death sentence in a rocking chair. How the others, who are really victims, pose for the winners’ photo. And how one comes to understand that this is the real crime.
Grit Lemke
Original Title: Killing Time
Country: Netherlands
Year: 2013
Language: English
Subtitle: No
Runtime: 54 min.
Format: DCP
Color: Colour
Director: Jaap van Hoewijk
Producer: Eric Velthuis
Cinematographer: Adri Schrover, Stef Tijdink
Editor: Jos Driessen
Sound: Diego van Uden & Benny Jansen
Script: Jaap van Hoewijk
Eric Velthuis
Kranenborg Velthuis Films

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The texts to the Documentary Competition films and the International Programme films were written by the members of the selection committee. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. All articles where no author’s name is given are production notes.