Decalogue VII

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Decalogue VII
DVD parts7-8.jpg
Directed by Krzysztof Kieślowski
Produced by Ryszard Chutkovski
Written by Krzysztof Kieślowski
Krzysztof Piesiewicz
Starring Anna Polony
Maja Barelkowska
Katarzyna Piwowarczyk
Music by Zbigniew Preisner
Cinematography Dariusz Kuc
Edited by Ewa Smal
Distributed by Polish Television
Release dates 1988
Running time 55 min.
Country Poland
Language Polish
Budget $10,000

The Decalogue - VII (Polish: Dekalog, siedem) is the seventh part of the television series The Decalogue by Polish director Krzysztof Kieślowski, connected to the eighth imperative of the Ten Commandments: "Thou shalt not steal".

A young woman (Maja Barelkowska) abducts her own child, who has been raised by her parents as her sister.[1]

Plot[edit]

Majka (Maja Barelkowska), abducting Ania (Katarzyna Piwowarczyk).

Prior to the events of the film: Ewa is the mother of 22-year-old Majka. She was unable to have any more children after Majka, although she would have liked to. She became head-mistress of a school where she hired a literature professor, Wojtek. Wojtek met and fell in love with then-16-year-old Majka, who got pregnant and had a daughter, Ania. However, due to the 'scandal' of it all, Majka was forced to pretend that Ania was actually her little sister rather than her daughter, and Wojtek avoided charges for seducing a minor by simply walking away.

The film: Twenty-two-year-old Majka (Maja Barelkowska), who still lives with her parents, quits her last term at the university and wants to flee to Canada with Ania. She needs her mother's signature, however, in order to obtain Ania's passport. Six-year-old Ania (Katarzyna Piwowarczyk) has recurrent nightmares and can only be consoled by Majka's mother, Ewa (Anna Polony). Majka's father, Stefan (Wladyslaw Kowalski), spends his time fixing a pipe organ in their apartment. Ewa is just as cruel to Majka as she is affectionate to Ania.

Ewa takes Ania to school to watch a school theatre performance. Majka manages to get into the school hall too and takes Ania away. Ewa is shocked by Ania's disappearance. Ania, meanwhile, believes that all of this is just a game with her 'sister'. Finally, Majka tells her that she is not her sister, but her mother and that Ewa is her grandmother. Ania seems to understand and then asks who her father is.

Majka goes to Wojtek's house in the country. He now earns a living by making Teddy bears. They meet for the first time in six years, and Wojtek is surprised and somewhat uncomfortable to see his daughter. While they are there, Majka's father, Stefan, calls, but Wojtek lies and tells him that he has not seen Majka in six years. Ewa begs Stefan to call up his former political acquaintances to help them find Ania. While Ania sleeps, Majka and Wojtek discuss their past. In her sleep, Ania grabs Wojtek's finger and he begins to warm to her. Meanwhile, Majka goes out to ring Ewa and Stefan from a phone booth. She tells them her conditions regarding Ania, namely that she be recognized as her mother and that they be left alone. In the meantime Ania has woken up and engages in conversation with Wojtek who is now very affectionate towards her. Majka has come back and asks Ania to address her as her mother, but she can only call her Majka.

Ania falls asleep again. Wojtek tells Majka to consider going back to her parents' place in Warsaw, since the trauma of the entire ordeal could be too much for Ania. Majka agrees and Wojtek promises to get a friend, who has a van, to take them back. When Wojtek returns with his friend, Majka and Ania are gone. Majka calls Ewa again and demands that she agree to all her previous conditions and organize the necessary documents to get Ania's passport and visa for Canada. Ewa tries to negotiate but Majka is relentless - either Ewa agrees to her demands or else she will never see Ania again. After a moment's silence Majka hangs up, just as Ewa is about to agree to her terms. The phone rings again at Ewa and Stefan's. It is Wojtek - he admits to his earlier lie and offers his help locating Majka.

Majka and Ania head to the local country train station. They want to buy a ticket but, it being Sunday, there won't be another train for two hours. The woman at the ticket office, suspecting that Majka might be fleeing from something, perhaps domestic violence, offers the two of them shelter in her office until the train arrives. Ewa and Stefan arrive at the train station and ask the woman at the ticket office about Majka and Ania. The woman tells them that they left two hours ago, but Ania unwittingly reveals their location when hearing her (grand)mother's voice. Ania excitedly runs towards Ewa, and a sad, discouraged Majka cannot confront her mother and boards the train alone. Ania then runs after her and the train, understanding that something irreparable has just happened.[2][3][4]

Cast[edit]

Majka's parents Ewa (Anna Polony) and Stefan (Wladyslaw Kowalski) with Majka's daughter, Ania (Katarzyna Piwowarczyk
  • Anna Polony - Ewa
  • Maja Barelkowska - Majka
  • Wladyslaw Kowalski - Stefan
  • Boguslaw Linda - Wojtek
  • Bozena Dykiel - ticket woman
  • Katarzyna Piwowarczyk - Ania
  • Dariusz Jabłoński - friend of Wojtek
  • Artur Barciś - man on the railway station

References[edit]