Wednesday, November 17, 2004

The Decalogue

After quite some time having this on my shelf, I am beginning my descent into Krzysztof Kieslowski's 10 part TV miniseries which has a 1 hour episode dedicated to each of the 10 Commandments. It aired in Poland during the Solidarity trials in 1988 and released as a 10 hour film at festivals in the 1990s. It now resides in a nice box-set containing the whole 10 hours.
Part 1 is the fascinating and ultimately haunting story of a man who lives his life by science, rationality and physical measures (rather than say, Faith in God). Like many agnostics, his view doesn't rule out god, it just ignores it. This is succinctly and beautifully put in a breakfast conversation between the man and his son about the nature of Death and the comment, it is too early in the morning for this. (i'm paraphrasing).
The white, open, Polish urban-scapes outside the large apartment building give the feeling of detached divinity. The aforementioned conversation, a dead dog, a homeless man observing everyone from a bonfire and a broken hole in the ice project a brooding, ominous feeling, which is juxtaposed with the superiority of the father/son's systematic calculations and their victory at figuring out a chess genius's system. We are dealing with a vengeful God here, not the buddy christ of Kevin Smith's Dogma. I'm left slightly shaken from the whole experience.


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