Dekalog (1989–1990)
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Decalogue Seven: Thou Shalt Not Steal 

Dekalog, siedem (original title)
"Thou shalt not steal" - but in this case the 'theft' is of a child by her real mother, who then finds herself emotionally unable to cope with the responsibility, while the stable and ... See full summary »




Episode complete credited cast:
Maja Barelkowska ...
Ticket Woman
Katarzyna Piwowarczyk ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Stefania Blonska
Dariusz Jablonski
Miroslawa Maludzinska
Jan Mayzel
Ewa Radzikowska
Wanda Wróblewska


"Thou shalt not steal" - but in this case the 'theft' is of a child by her real mother, who then finds herself emotionally unable to cope with the responsibility, while the stable and loving family that brought the child up are distraught. Written by Michael Brooke <>

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Release Date:

15 June 1990 (Poland)  »

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Referenced in The Simpsons: Lisa's First Word (1992) See more »

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Lawful and unlawful mothers deprived of filial affection.
11 April 2005 | by (Italy) – See all my reviews

The filial love pushed to the extreme is the main point of one of the most despairing episodes of the whole series. Painted in soft tones of a warm color photography "Dekalog 7", a sorrowful appeal against the theft of maternal affections, a touching scream of desperation against every form of domestic psychological abuse, describes the emotional journey of lonely souls towards a past immersed in voids of time and memory, thwarted by walls of self-referential egoism and full of wrong choices due to scarce sense of consciousness.

Lawful and unlawful mothers deprived of filial affection. Human beings wandering through the fury of winds of despair whose smell they can scent over and over again. An innocent child at the mercy of acts of adult selfishness destined to affect the course of human events. These are the main points of this collective drama of existence full of regression periods in infancy, clear admonishment in favor of a quiet and sensible mother-daughter relationship.

The director follows the story development most closely, avoiding to keep the events at a distance as if they were no concern of him, showing on the contrary a clear sensitiveness towards this anomalous drama of two mothers fighting over the possession of the same daughter driven passively from pillar to post. The seventh commandment, "Thou shalt not steal", must be intended in this case as the explication of a dangerous crime: the theft of a child both by her grandmother and by her real mother; the most blamable one depends on our points of view. In my opinion, for instance, to claim the right of someone else's maternity is the most reprehensible action because it does violence to the nature itself, bereaving the human being of his most precious treasure, fruit of a mutual choice of love. As usual, Kieslovski shows his complete respect of the par condicio: he finds both the fictitious mother and the real one guilty: the first one for having taken possession of someone else's motherhood; the second one for having stolen her real child. According to divine law (and to him) a theft is always a theft, and in this tormented quarrel between grown-up persons heedless of the potential damages suffered by a delicate childish psyche, will the ingenuous spontaneity of a child succeed in breaking the wall of incomprehension and hostility between kinsmen?

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