Elderly ethics professor Zofia (Maria Kościałkowska) unexpectedly meets Elżbieta (Teresa Marczewska), a Jew of Polish descent who lives in the US and has translated Zofia’s works. Through the course of their acquaintance, it transpires that Zofia had refused to help Elżbieta during the Nazi occupation of Poland, when she was a young child.
40-year-old cardiologist Roman (Piotr Machalica) finds out that he is sexually impotent. Although Roman fears that this will cause their marriage to fall apart, his wife Hanka (Ewa Błaszczyk) insists that love means more sex. Nonetheless, Roman starts to obsessively spy on Hanka, leading him to uncover a closely-guarded secret.
Dekalog has achieved that rare feat of being a foreign-language feature that is internationally popular, not only with film critics, but also with the viewing public. How exactly did this 10-part cycle, originally made for television in communist Poland and loosely based around the Ten Commandments, find such success? The answer lies in Krzysztof Kieślowski’s ability to transplant broader moral dilemmas into the everyday lives of its characters, to dramatise rather than dictate reality, to find the universal resonance in seemingly local issues – and to do all of this with a strikingly mature aesthetic, hitherto unseen on most television sets.
Films will be available via ICA Cinema 3 between 20 May - 27 May.