"Open Doors," playing today at the Charles, is a 1990 Italian production, a passionless argument against capital punishment.
Based on the novel by Leonardo Sciascia, the film takes place in 1937 in Palermo, when Mussolini was still in power. One of the principal characters is a man who murders two of his former co-workers, then rapes and kills his wife. One of the judges at his trial is unmoved by the fact that the killer wants to die. He is against capital punishment and will look for a way to save the man's life.
As a polemic, "Open Doors" may be taken as is -- you may either agree or disagree with it. As filmmaking, however, it is largely an exhausting experience, a film that takes its good time making its point.