Decalogue, Six

Decalogue VI

Action shot
  • Description
  • Cast and crew
  • Duration: 53’
  • Genre: DRAMA
  • Resolution: HD
  • Year: 1988

This original series illustrating the Ten Commandments has firmly established Kieślowski’s international reputation. Each of the presented stories is linked to the theme of a particular commandment. Because of its form, all viewers are deeply moved by these movies, regardless of their views or religious beliefs. Asked on numerous occasions why he had chosen such a hard subject, the director replied curtly: “It’s worthwhile to be reminded of these ten very well written sentences. There needs to be a point of reference, a definitive criterion (...)”. The series won numerous awards at film festivals and is one of the most recognizable Polish productions.

The opening sequence presents both characters setting the scene for a drama that would take place between them: a window glass that separates them, they are of different ages and social status; all that they can do is watching and being watched. In a precise structure of the sixth film of The Decalogue three parts, almost of the same length, can be distinguished: in the first the woman is seen from Tomek’s viewpoint, separated by window glasses and the lens of a telescope, only seemingly coming closer. The middle part consists of their meetings: a love-struck young man confesses to his spying on her, tells her he loves her but he expects nothing. The third part is shown from the point of view of the woman: now she starts to search for the young man and discovers that love which is not equal only to physiological satisfaction exists. The film, if watched carelessly, may seem to be just a story about a peeper: however, it is worth to notice how Tomek does not look at his attractive neighbour. Only a few minutes before the end we learn her name: Magda (Magdalene), referring to the established culturally stereotype of a sinful woman. In the Gospel she became a reformed woman that changed due to the meeting with Christ; in Kieślowski’s film the transformation of Magda takes place thanks to Tomek and his unselfish love. The film emphasises it using the symbols taken from the Gospel: a price paid by Tomek for Magda’s liberation is climbing the Golgotha with a company of a man wearing a white coat (Artur Barciś). A Short Film About Love, a feature version of The Decalogue, Six is even more obvious and finishes more optimistically.

  • Awards:
  • 1989 Venice Film Festival – Children and Cinema Award; FIPRESCI Prize
  • 1989 São Paulo International Film Festival – Critics Award
  • 1989 San Sebastián International Film Festival – OCIC Award - Honorable Mention
  • 1990 Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists – European Silver Ribbon
  • 1991 French Syndicate of Cinema Critics – Critics Award: Best Foreign Film
  • 1997 Chicago Film Critics Association Awards – Best Foreign Language Film
  • 2000 National Board of Review USA – Special Citation Outstanding Cinematic Series
  • 2016 Cannes Film Festival – Cannes Classic Selection and Presentation


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