US-born, Bucharest-based video producer and filmmaker Matt Sarnecki’s new documentary The Killing of a Journalist, which has just world-premiered at Hot Docs, tackles the 2018 murder of Slovak journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancée, Martina Kušnírová. In addition to providing almost incredible access, this investigative documentary explores how the entanglement of organised crime with a corrupt government, legal system and law enforcement can practically define life in a nominally democratic European country.
Vladan Petkovic, Cineuropa
If you thought Collective was an explosive meeting point for journalism and documentary, you haven’t seen anything yet. The Killing of a Journalist is a chilling inquiry into the brutal murders of Slovak investigative journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kušnírová. With investigative rigour, Matt Sarnecki makes his feature directorial debut by drawing upon his background reporting in corruption and organized crime. The 2018 murders are a springboard for a much wider criminal network that is far reaching. The soul of a nation is stained and corrupted as The Killing of a Journalist uncovers why Kuciak was silenced with Kušnírová as collateral damage. The film features images of Slovaks protesting in the streets over the first journalist’s death since their nation gained independence. However, the investigation, which should do Kuciak proud as a journalist, ought to have everyone in the country rioting in the streets.
Pat Mullen, POV Magazine
The film is also available online throughout the festival!