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  • Writer's pictureCharles Cherney

75: Dekalog 6 - Kieślowski

I am working my way through watching again Dekalog (The Decalogue) - a 1989 Polish television drama series directed by Krzysztof Kieślowski. It consists of ten one-hour films, inspired by the Ten Commandments (the Decalogue). Each short film explores characters facing one or several moral or ethical dilemmas as they live in an austere housing project in 1980s Poland. Made for TV. And, as it happens, a masterpiece of world cinema. I first saw these at the Brattle Theatre in Harvard Square in the 1990s. It was time to revisit them, so I purchased the films on DVD.

For the most part, these ten one-hour films are dark and depressing. And absolutely wonderful. Really!

I recently watched Dekalog 6, an exploration of the tenth commandment, namely "Thou shall not commit adultery." It is the story of a naive young nineteen-year-old named Tomek, who spies on a thirty-something woman named Magda and falls in love with her.

In this scene from Dekalog 6, Tomek is overcome with joy that Magda has agreed to go on a date with him:

After watching the film, I came across a very profound analysis of it here.

It's interesting how the impression of Tomek as a creep and a Peeping Tom shifts as the film unfolds, and we learn a little more about him. This film asks the viewer to meditate on the judgments we make about other people. Who are we to judge? And yet we do.


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