"I am the Lord thy God; thou shalt have no other God but me." Ten-year-old Pawel and his father Krzysztof run their lives on their beloved home computer, while Pawel's aunt worries that his... See full summary »
"I am the Lord thy God; thou shalt have no other God but me." Ten-year-old Pawel and his father Krzysztof run their lives on their beloved home computer, while Pawel's aunt worries that his spiritual education is being neglected. But Pawel is too busy enjoying life, not least thanks to his father's Christmas present of a pair of ice skates, because the computer has calculated that the frozen lake is safe to skate across... Written by
Michael Brooke <firstname.lastname@example.org>
What this movie manages to do for the viewer in a mere 53 minutes even the most powerful three hour epic cannot accomplish. Simply said, the polarized emotions yielded by this masterpiece puts "Million Dollar Baby" and "Schindler's List" to shame. It has the ability to change lives.
Words escape me that describe the power of the film. I consider "The Decalogue" the greatest cinematic achievement of all time, and this, its first episode, is also its best. It's one of the only surefire ways of making me cry, and occasionally tears will swell up just thinking about it.
The story seems conspicuously simple. The main characters are a middle-aged professor at a Warsaw university and his extremely intelligent son, about 10 years old. We see them in their everyday lives: Showing off their high-tech computer system, playing a game of chess, saying goodnight to each other, etc. Everything is profoundly normal the first half of the film - so ordinary that we cannot see the tragic event that is to soon unfold.
That being said, the last 10 minutes of this film are unlike anything that has ever been committed to celluloid. There are images that will stick in your mind forever - one involving burning wax flowing on to a picture, another involving a blue television screen. The story is so simple and the film seems so short - and yet, like a beautiful short story, gives us everything and nothing more.
"The Decaloge: Episode One" is captivating, exhilarating and profound. It's unforgettable. It's heartbreaking, yes, but also redemptive. The other episodes of "The Decalogue" are also mesmerizing - especially 4,5,6 and 7 - but none of them - indeed, nothing in the history of film
compares to the subtle magnificence of this first episode. Run, don't
walk, to the video store. 10/10
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