"Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain". An elderly doctor is approached by a woman with a complicated request. Her husband is gravely ill and may die, and she is ...
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"Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain". An elderly doctor is approached by a woman with a complicated request. Her husband is gravely ill and may die, and she is pregnant by someone else. If her husband dies, she wants to keep the child, but not otherwise, and she wants the doctor to give him an honest verdict on his chances. But the doctor is disturbed by her request, because his answer will directly affect the life or death of another human being. Is he entitled to play God? Written by
Michael Brooke <email@example.com>
a contrast between the expectation of a conclusive answer and the impossibility of giving any hurried opinions about the human destiny
Even if the main point of interest of "Dekalog 2" (Thou Shalt Not Take the Name of Thy Lord God in Vain) may be ascribed to the choice between life and death, strictly connected with a concatenation of events impossible to foresee, Kieslowski is mainly interested in the multitude of piercing GLANCES spread throughout the whole episode. Puzzling GLANCES on the point of questioning, imploring, invoking, urging precise answers suspended between the earth and the sky. Mute GLANCES behind the window, intent on following the hesitating steps along the pavement while every expectations begin to fade away, replaced by a feeling of discouragement evoked by the notes of a somber music clearly aiming at emphasizing a depressing disposition of soul. Vain throbs of a lonely soul not resigned to waiting, caught in the very act of outstretching her arms symbolically in the pursuit of hypothetical sparks of life to exorcise the "horror vacui" hanging over her head. Throbs of impatience that plunge every breath of life into a chain of deviating situations without no way out of them. "Dekalog 2" shows us an irremediable contrast between the paroxistic expectation of a conclusive answer and the impossibility of giving any hurried opinions about the human destiny, due to the unpredictability of future events. Or, to be more exact, it proves us the incompatibility between tiring comings and goings through the darkness of existence in the despairing attempt to tear to pieces the veil of mist that precludes the knowledge itself and the resigned precariousness of a daily make-believe without any glances into the future. Kieslowski unmasks the disquieting dichotomy between being and not being, dwelling for a long time upon the faces of the main characters, interested in the description of little recollections, haunted by confidential memories of an unhappy childhood, by moments of life immersed in flashes of memory, similar to tragedy. In the meantime a determined bee is groping its way to the life within a glass half full (or half empty), plodding towards the rim. Will it succeed?
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