Killing Zoe

Director: Roger Roberts Avary
Screenwriters: Roger Roberts Avary

Institute History

  • 1994 Sundance Film Festival


A first feature by writer/director Roger Avary, Killing Zoe is a genre film that breaks all the rules. A shoot-'em-up bank-heist thriller, this film is also full of things you don't expect.

Zed is an American safecracker who comes to Paris to help his childhood friend, Eric, pull off a bank robbery. His taxi driver offers him a ”wife for the night." When Zoe arrives, she and Zed hit it off on much more than a sexual level. Their bliss is disturbed when Eric bursts in and tears Zed away, but the robbery preparation is a night on the town, complete with Dixieland music, bad wine and lots of heroin. The next day, Zed navigates the vault system beneath the bank as all hell breaks loose upstairs. Eric freaks out, and Zoe, a secretary in the bank, is caught in the cross fire.

One interesting thing is that this film is about the ride as much as the characters. No one is particularly likable, but somehow it doesn't matter. Avary presents his people just as they are: so what if Zed's a bank robber, and Zoe's a little bit of a whore? We go with them and feel what they feel—the sex, the drugs, the violence. The film defies political correctness and is powerful for exactly that reason.

Friday Jan 21 3:00 pm
Prospector Square Theatre

Monday Jan 24 1:40 pm
Holiday Village Cinema III

Wednesday Jan 26 6:00 pm
Prospector Square Theatre

Friday Jan 28 8:30 pm
Tower Theatre, Salt Lake City


— Catherine Schulman

Screening Details

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