Citizen X – 1995

When this originally aired on HBO, my sister watched it and raved to me about how brilliant it was and tried to get me to watch it.  Laziness is really the only good excuse I can think of.  So I decided to record this the other night and watch it just for the sake of having watched it.

I was old enough to know what Russia used to be like.  Even so, the roadblocks that the man Stephen Rea portrayed in this film had to endure seemed almost fake.  I know they weren’t.  I know back then in was incredibly important for the government in Russia to make things seem like they were perfect to the outside world, especially the US.  No signs of weakness were allowed and because of that, this investigation was stagnant for over 8 years.  It’s insane to me that the film seems so fake but if you investigate the case the issues that they faced were so real.  By the time my 9 year-old niece is old enough to watch this film, it’ll seem like total fiction (true, this is the fictionalized version but most of it is quite close to the real thing).  I suppose that’s a good thing.

The murders were brutal (but not all graphic) but the oddest part was the ending.  I had already read how the serial killer was executed, but the way they depicted it in the film was unnerving.  Just walked into a room, told not to look back, gun is raised and we see nothing but a flash and then the final graphic reading “The End”.  Certainly was.

HBO makes amazing films.  I’m struggling to think of one I didn’t like (although I haven’t seen all of them).  I need to  look deeper into the HBO archives because I know there are some good ones I am sure to have missed.

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