Citizen X

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Citizen X
Citizen X (poster).jpg
Directed by Chris Gerolmo
Produced by Timothy Marx
Screenplay by Chris Gerolmo
Based on The Killer Department 
by Robert Cullen
Starring Stephen Rea
Donald Sutherland
Max von Sydow
Jeffrey DeMunn
Joss Ackland
John Wood
Ion Caramitru
Imelda Staunton
Music by Randy Edelman
Cinematography Robert Fraisse
Edited by William Goldenberg
Running time
105 minutes

Citizen X is a made-for-TV film, released in 1995, which covers the investigation of the Soviet serial killer Andrei Chikatilo, who was convicted in 1992 of killing 53 women and children between 1978 and 1990, and the efforts of detectives in the Soviet Union to capture him.


The film tells the story of the seven-year hunt by forensic specialist Viktor Burakov for the person who mutilated and murdered over 50 people of both sexes, 35 of whom were below the age of 18. Burakov is aided, covertly at first, by Col. Mikhail Fetisov, his commanding officer, and later by Dr. Alexandr Bukhanovsky, a psychiatrist.

As well as being in the form of a crime thriller, the movie depicts Soviet propaganda and bureaucracy that contributed to the failure of the then-current law enforcement agencies to capture the killer; Chikatilo's crimes were not widely reported for fear of revealing that such things ever happened in the USSR. Also, the killer was shielded from investigation because he was a member of the Communist Party. All this changed under the political reforms of glasnost and Perestroika, and the investigation began to make progress.


The movie was entirely shot in Hungary. The station where Chikatilo picks his victims is the Hatvan railway station, northeast of Budapest. The smaller, arched train shelter scene was shot in Nagymaros. Several other scenes were shot in the Gödöllő Railway Station. The film was directed by Chris Gerolmo, who also wrote the screenplay adapted from Robert Cullen's non-fiction book The Killer Department (1993).



Citizen X was met with positive reviews from critics and audiences, earning a Rotten Tomatoes approval rating of 86%. Scott Weinberg of described it as "Fascinating and absorbing. One of HBO's finest made-for-cable flicks."



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