Is God fiction to make life bearable for those who cannot face the void of existence? Are those without God, not accepting his existence, doomed to confront life without the grace of his love? Do we have a soul, or is conscienceness simply a complicated machinery achievable even by computers? Deep questions are explored here, although I felt a little more subtlety with regards to presenting them would have been nice.
One of the most brilliant, non-doctrinaire critiques of the unprecedent penetration of technology into the domestic sphere. Stunningly photographed and acted (the father's final despair is chilling) this is cinema of moral purpose of the highest calibre. What makes it more chilling is the banal mode by which Evil slides onto a frozen routine life. Riveting and maybe the best episode in the Decalogue.
Le premier épisode du décalogue de Kieslowski, 30 ans après sa réalisation, demeure d'une belle modernité. Le premier opus "Un seul dieu tu adoreras", oppose assez subtilement la science à la religion. Sous la lumière verte et crue des écrans, la complicité scientifique d'un père et de son fils est brisée nette. D'une mise en scène habitée, Kieslowski dresse une interrogation morale qui l'est tout autant. Envoutant.
NW Film Center showing the full Decalogue throughout March. I feel this one in my bones. Innocence grasping the meaning of death. Science vs God. Choices in how to live this life. Random fate. There's supposed to be a link to the 10 commandments, but I think it's just a cerebral diversion.
We begin, I presume, with the 1st Commandment—"Thou Shalt Have No Gods Before Me"—and thus we get a beautifully nuanced short story about faith and technocracy set in the last days of Iron Curtain-era Poland. It's rare that a movie can make a death feel meaningful, or that it can make Big Questions so personal and unpretentious. If the rest is this good, this binge-watch will be in the presence of greatness.
Is it a criticism on complete confidence in science? Is it a pro-theism piece of propaganda? Is it a movie about the tragedy of the inevitability of death? Is it a fatalistic manifesto? Is it all of the above? I'm not sure. And since it doesn't force a particular point of view upon me, this movie is more than great.