‘America’s Not a Country, It’s Just a Business’: On Andrew Dominik’s ‘Killing Them Softly’
By Yasmina Tawil
“Shitsville.” That’s the name Killing Them Softly director Andrew Dominik gave to the film’s nameless town, in which low-level criminals, ambitious mid-tier gangsters, nihilistic assassins, and the mob’s professional managerial class engage in warfare of the most savage kind. Onscreen, other states are mentioned (New York, Maryland, Florida), and the film itself was filmed in post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans, though some of the characters speak with Boston accents that are pulled from the source material, George V. Higgins’s novel Cogan’s Trade. But Dominik, by shifting Higgins’s narrative 30 or so years into the future and situating it specifically during the 2008 Presidential election, refuses to limit this story to one place.