Skip to main content
The Killing of a Journalist film image, director Matt Sarnecki

The Killing of a Journalist

Book Now Book Now

Matt Sarnecki’s documentary begins with the murder of a crusading Slovak reporter and takes us through the extraordinary aftermath. Ján Kuciak was a dogged investigative scribe, digging up dirt on his country’s most prominent gangsters, as well as their partners in the “legitimate” realms of business and politics. The 2018 assassination of Kuciak and his fiancée was surely intended as a warning to Slovakia’s media establishment, but in fact it had the opposite effect: cross-publication cooperation in an all-out effort to expose the guilty parties.

The story of that endeavour is rich indeed: among its lurid ingredients are hidden thumb drives, widespread sexual blackmail, massive corruption, and the coordination of homicide via emoji-laced text messages. As it moves from Kuciak’s murder through the ensuing revelations and their seismic political impact, Sarnecki’s work holds the fascination of a bonafide page-turner.

[A] riveting true crime tale. As an exposé, it’s explosive. As journalism, it’s watertight.”—Pat Mullen, POV Magazine

 

This film is also available on VIFF Connect

 

Media Partner

The Tyee logo

Director
Credits
Country of Origin

Denmark

Year

2022

Language

In Slovak and English with English subtitles

Film Contact
Links
18+
100 min
Documentary Human Rights & Social Justice

Book Tickets

Thursday October 06

1:00 pm
Closed Captioning - limited avail Descriptive Video - limited avail Subtitles
VIFF Centre - Vancity Theatre
Book Now

Saturday October 08

6:45 pm
Closed Captioning - limited avail Subtitles
International Village 10
Book Now

More Films in this Series

Rebellion

Documentary Human Rights & Social Justice Women Directors

This candid observational documentary gives us the inside story on the rise of Extinction Rebellion, the environmental protest movement which injected new urgency into climate activism. An empowering testament to the inspiring impact of direct action.

International Village 10

Framing Agnes

Award Winners Documentary Human Rights & Social Justice LGBTQIA2S+

Exhuming transcripts from a 1950s study on transgender individuals, Chase Joynt and his collaborators employ re-enactments, reinvention, and personal reflections to examine the trans stories that are told and how—and by whom—they are authored.

The Rio Theatre

Last Flight Home

Documentary Women Directors

In January 2021, filmmaker Ondi Timoner's father Eli told his family that he was ready to die—as soon as California law would allow. A vérité record of the patriarch's last few weeks on earth and a testament to a different measure of fulfillment.

International Village 9

My Imaginary Country

Documentary Human Rights & Social Justice

Patricio Guzmán is the poet laureate of Chilean cinema and its foremost historian. Here he returns to his early work of frontline reportage, documenting the recent, extraordinary uprising which promises to transform Chile for the better.

International Village 8
A Fire Inside
A Fire Inside, directors Justin Krook and Luke Mazzaferro

A Fire Inside

Documentary

During Australia's apocalyptic bushfires in 2019-2020, volunteer firefighters put their lives on the line to save their communities. A clarion call about climate change and an ode to the camaraderie of strangers standing together in the midst of a crisis.

International Village 10 VIFF Centre - Vancity Theatre

The Klabona Keepers

Documentary Human Rights & Social Justice

The Klabona Keepers is a fierce account of the Tahltan Nation's struggle to protect the Klabona Sacred Headwaters from commercial mining. Interspersing verité cinematography with interviews, the film documents the tactics used by the land defenders.

Vancouver Playhouse International Village 10

All That Breathes

Award Winners Documentary

Two brothers are determined to nurse back to health New Delhi's ailing black kites—the megacity's ubiquitous birds of prey. Striving to keep their wildlife rescue clinic afloat, political tensions loom over their neighbourhood as ominously as the smog.

SFU Woodwards
Retrograde
Retrograde film image, director Matthew Heineman

Retrograde

Retrograde captures details of American and Afghan soldiers navigating the politics of the United States' withdrawal from Afghanistan, focusing on General Sami Sadat, who is left bearing the brunt of responsibility to fight an unwinnable war.

International Village 9

Adam Ondra: Pushing the Limits

Action & Suspense Documentary

One of the best rock climbers in the world, Adam Ondra prepares for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. An intimate portrait of devotion and dedication to the art of climbing alongside the mental and physical toll it takes along the path to greatness.

International Village 8 International Village 10
Good Night Oppy
Good Night Oppy film image, director Ryan White

Good Night Oppy

Documentary

Sent on a mission to Mars with a life expectancy of 90 days, the exploration rover Opportunity instead lived for 15 years. With incredible interviews and awe-inspiring re-creations, this documentary doubles as an open-hearted, intergalactic underdog tale.

SFU Woodwards
The Killing of a Journalist
The Killing of a Journalist film image, director Matt Sarnecki

The Killing of a Journalist

Documentary Human Rights & Social Justice

Matt Sarnecki explores the murder of a Slovak reporter in a documentary that grips like a true page-turner: among the story ingredients are gangsters, crooked cops, blackmail, hidden thumb drives, and assassination plots via emoji-laced text messages.

VIFF Centre - Vancity Theatre International Village 10

Love Will Come Later

Documentary Romance Women Directors

Like many young Moroccans, Samir considers marrying a foreigner the key to a better life in Europe—but his family would rather arrange a marriage for him with a Moroccan woman. When he falls in love with a tourist, he weighs a life-changing decision.

VIFF Centre - Vancity Theatre

1341 Frames of Love and War

Award Winners

Ran Tal's sobering film captures over 50 years of Israeli history through the lens of photojournalist Micha Bar-Am, providing a deep focus on the beauty and horror of humanity as chronicled through his camera.

SFU Woodwards International Village 10

If You Are a Man

Thirteen-year-old Opio works at a gold mine in Burkina Faso. It’s a harsh existence, and to earn the money for an education that might liberate him from it, the child must take a new, dangerous step in his occupation.

International Village 8

Credits

Executive Producer

Drew Sullivan, Paul Radu

Producer

Signe Byrge Sørensen

Cinematography

Anna Smoroňová

Editor

Janus Billeskov Jansen

Original Music

Kristian Eidnes Andersen

Director

Matt Sarnecki headshot, The Killing of a Journalist director

Matt Sarnecki

Matt Sarnecki is a journalist, producer, and film director at the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project. His documentary Killing Pavel (2017), about the murder of investigative journalist Pavel Sheremet, won the Investigative Reporters and Editors Medal in 2017 and the 2018 Documentari, Inchieste, Giornalismi Award in the Investigative Medium category. He spent several years working in television and documentary in New York and has produced and directed series for VICE and Powder.com. Sarnecki has a Master’s degree in Journalism from the University of California, Berkeley, and has lived in Bucharest, Romania since 2013.