Decalogue, Seven

Decalogue VII

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. 

‘Is it possible to steal a man?’ – it turns out it is. Majka, a student, runs away from home abducting her 6-year-old daughter Ania, the fruit of her romance with her former teacher. To avoid the scandal, the girl was adopted by her grandmother who deprived Majka from her right to be a parent. Too impossible to be true? Not really. In Krzysztof Piesiewicz’s legal practice he saw an even more dramatic case as it was connected with incest. A child asking whether she still has a mother becomes a victim of a long-term misunderstanding, inability to love, growing grievance and hate, like other children in Kieślowski’s cycle. Somewhere in the background there are fathers – Majka’s and Ania’s, as guilty as the others, but silent and absent, running away from responsibility. In the seventh part of the cycle even a man played by Artur Barciś is helpless. In the earlier episodes he influences the main characters looking at them in crucial moments. Here he impersonates a man leaning on crutches at the railway station in Józefów on Sunday morning, who gets out of the train to which Majka jumps into running away from her parents and leaving confused Ania. Does a man with crutches seen from a distance arrive too late to reduce aggression between two women that has been lasting for years? Kieślowski consistently lets his characters appear in different episodes: in The Decalogue, Nine Ania plays alone at the playground and is watched from the window by the doctor considering with his wife an adoption of a child. Inside, behind another window, one of many similar windows in the same block of flats, another drama unfolds.

  • 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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