Dekalog 9 & 10
This masterwork by Krzysztof Kieslowski is one of the twentieth century’s greatest achievements in visual storytelling. Originally made for Polish television, The Dekalog focuses on the residents of a housing complex in late-Communist Poland, whose lives become subtly intertwined as they face emotional dilemmas that are at once deeply personal and universally human. Its ten hour-long films, drawing from the Ten Commandments for thematic inspiration and an overarching structure, grapple deftly with complex moral and existential questions concerning life, death, love, hate, truth, and the passage of time. Shot by nine different cinematographers, with stirring music by Zbigniew Preisner, The Dekalog explores the unknowable forces that shape our lives.
Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbor’s Wife (Dekalog 9)
Dir. Krzysztof Kieslowski. 1988, 58 mins. Restored DCP. With Ewa Blaszczyk, Piotr Machalica, Artur Barcis, Jan Jankowski. A heart surgeon not yet 40, Roman learns he is incurably impotent and assumes that his marriage is ruined. When his loving wife insists on staying together, Roman suggests that she take a lover, only to become obsessively jealous. He catches his wife in the act. Even after hearing reassurances, and deciding together to adopt a child, his self-pity drives him to consider taking his own life. Straddling the line between comedy and tragedy, Kieslowski questions the very basis of marriage, and thus what really constitutes adultery
Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbor’s Goods (Dekalog 10)
Dir. Krzysztof Kieslowski. 1988, 57 mins. Restored DCP. With Jerzy Stuhr, Zbigniew Zamachowski, Henryk Bista, Olaf Lubaszenko. A man dies, leaving a valuable stamp collection to his two sons, Jerzy and Artur. Although they know very little about stamps, when they learn of the collection’s value their interest spikes. Gradually, this interest takes on an unhealthy intensity. Upon learning that one very rare stamp is needed to complete a valuable series, Jerzy elects to donate his kidney in order to broker a deal.
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