A violinist coerces an old doctor into predicting her sick husband’s chances of survival in hospital. Meanwhile she is having a baby by her lover, and her decision whether to have it or not depends on the doctor’s diagnosis.
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Bearing her 'Sophie's choice', the episode finally draws on the dramatic weight it tends through aesthetic means. Kieslowski shifts from a spiritual rumination to a moral one, presented with subtlety by the luminous Aleksander Bardini (No End, The Double Life of Veronique, Three Colors: White). The dripping faucet remains a Kieslowski favourite.
84/100 - Great.
A complex and mighty deconstruction of ethics, healthcare, and pro-life views. Kieslowski, instead of expressing his pro-abortion and pro-choice by making an agitprop piece featuring the glory of abortions, makes a film that suggests what is wrong with not having an abortion and blindly obeying one's authority figures that say no to one's agency. A remarkable, human work and the Decalogue is outstanding so far.
Another extremely nicely woven 'filmic' tissue of moral dilemmas, told with the attention to detail so typical of this filmmaker. He gives moral conflicts their due, incorporating gender emancipation, professional ethics, history and personal trauma, birth and resurrection. The latter osmosis is what sustains a beautifully mystical ending of enduring the dilemma of transference that the woman and the doctor undergo.
Kieslowski's greatness often lies in his silence allowing the viewer reflection of a character's thoughts or of vivid symbolism which is persistent in this decalogue as the potential power of god an individual can have is reflected upon. A doctor is able to falsify the death of one man in order to save another. Truth is resisted in the name of morality, but was it truly moral or an abuse of power and responsibility?
After waiting for Netflix to bring it in, I got the first DVD for The Decalogue and just finished watching this minutes ago. I really like it a lot and delivered a similar level of quality. I loved the dynamic between the woman and the doctor and how they each had their own complex, internal battles they must face alone.