"Barc's spartan shocker stands apart... sticks out for its harsh black-and-white aesthetic and its even harsher, black-on-black sensibility" – Adam Nayman, EYE WEEKLY
Director: Olias Barco
Screenplay: Olias Barco, Virgile Bramly, Stephane Malandrin
Cast: Aurélien Recoing, Bouli Lanners, Benoît Poelvoorde, Saul Rubinek,
Producers: Philippe Kauffmann, Didier Brunner, Guillaume Malandrin, Vincent Tavier, Olias Barco, Stephane Malandrin
Print Source: Le Pacte
2010 | 7 min
From the collective producers of MAN BITES DOG, CALVAIRE and A TOWN CALLED PANIC comes a blacker-than-black comedy about the lighter side of euthanasia.
Are you wealthy? Terminally ill? Want to go out on your own terms but without traumatizing loved ones, and would rather not make your last act on Earth a criminal one? If you answered "yes" to all of the above, there's a very special clinic, high up in the Swiss mountains, that you should be considering. Run by the pragmatic Dr. Kruger (Aurélien Recoing), this highly exclusive resort has but one purpose: to bring decency to suicide by offering a medically assisted means of departure. The grim reality is that 70 per cent of suicides choose a violent death. A self-styled medical pioneer, Dr. Kruger has set up his clinic to offer the desperate a more humane alternative. As a reward for his progressive thinking, nearby villagers despise him and his staff. Death threats are an everyday affair and his institution is in a never-ending state of controversy. Yet, in the isolation of his remote castle of a clinic, the good doctor has assembled a ragtag community of the death-desiring, who are more than thankful for his politically incorrect essential service. This is their story.
Quintessentially Belgian, KILL ME PLEASE is in no way a conventional comedy. Much of the film's humour stems from the motley crew of "patients" at the clinic, an endearing group of outsiders and curmudgeons whose core unifying trait is that of no longer wanting to exist. Of course, the subject of assisted suicide is no laughing matter, but that doesn't mean that there isn't humour to be found in it. Barco's film is subversive in that within an episodic structure, its deadpan comedy doesn't, for the most part, come out of farce but out of its characters and their pain. You shouldn't laugh, but you do, and so do they. By the closing act, the film becomes much more over the top and extreme, but by that time, the point has been made and it's now cocking the hammer to take things out with a bang. Clearly modeled in part after the recently deceased Jack Kevorkian, Dr. Kruger's character is a fascinating one, a figure that is calm, compassionate, philosophical and optimistic – most of the time. Recoing's performance is perfectly measured, and the brilliantly matched multinational ensemble cast transforms this film into an unforgettable experience in the realm of confrontational satire.