Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Capital Celluloid 2014 - Day 339: Sun Dec 7

The Decalogue 7 & 8 (Kieslowski, 1989): ICA Cinema, 6.30pm


Here is the ICA introduction:
The ICA is celebrating the 25th anniversary of Krzysztof Kieślowski's 1989 masterpiece The Decalogue (Dekalog) with a complete retrospective. The Decalogue is a renowned Polish television drama series directed by Kieślowski and co-written with Krzysztof Piesiewicz, with music by Zbigniew Preisner. It consists of ten one-hour films, inspired by the Ten Commandments.

Kieślowski's works are meditative, often melancholic in tone, expressionist in technique, and tackle themes of identity and what it means to be at once connected and isolated. The Decalogue is a work that reflects the instability and ongoing transformation of an individual’s life. It's an examination of the emotions upon which life itself is built: emotions which are the driving force behind all our decisions, choices, mistakes and sins.

This retrospective is not only a journey through The Decalogue series but also presents some of Kieślowski’s first documentaries and other pivotal yet lesser known films.


The Decalogue 7 (which plays brilliantly on 'Thou shalt not steal') tells the story of Majka, who kidnaps her daughter Ania from her own mother, who is herself extremely attached to her granddaughter. A surreal episode, especially in terms of the visual frames that often interplay with the glances of the child, the plot relies on the tension between the two mothers Ewa and Majka, while little Ania is the victim of them both.

The Decalogue 8 is about a Jewish woman, Elzbieta, who comes back to Warsaw after many years to question the philosophy professor who refused to give her shelter during World War II. This episode touches in such a poetic yet dramatic way on one of the main themes of The Decaelogue: the existence of moral and ethical contradictions that are out of the control of even well-intentioned individuals.

Here (and above) is an extract.

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