Although crime and punishment was an important subject in the visual arts of the 19th century, as the exhibition demonstrates, it was the cinema that gave this subject a similar importance in the 20th century. From Fritz Lang to Martin Scorsese, the violence and the eternal conflict between good and evil are the themes that produced cinema's historic masterpieces, some of which are presented in this cycle.
This programme opens with the most original film adaptation of Crime and Punishment, directed by Aki Kaurismäki. We then turn our attention to how film producers present the murderer, where each film is emblematic of a genre (Scarface, Monsieur Verdoux, Doctor Mabuse, Rope).
In counterpoint, there will be a number of films featuring a rare figure in the cinema: the executioner. This sinister character is as much a subject of terror (Witchfinder General) as of comedy (Convict 13, The Executioner, English title: Not on Your Life), and, more unusually, a subject of documentaries where we are confronted with the dark side of the law and its sentences (Dearest Executioners, Mr Death).