Friday, 26 May 2017

Dekalog 7

Dekalog 7, compared to previous episodes, is weak. The backstory is mostly explained through dialogue, which sometimes sounds contrived; and the ending is puzzling and a bit unsatisfying, as though Piesiewicz and Kieslowski got an interesting idea and started to develop it but didn’t quite know how to end the story.   
However, the film has some good performances, and is thought-provoking. Dekalog 7 is connected to the 8th commandment “Thou shalt not steal”, but it’s not an object that is being stolen—the theft in the film is Majka’s abduction of her own daughter Ania, who has been raised by her parents as her sister (to cover up a scandal and legal offence). Should Ania be with Majka, her rightful mother? Or should she be with Ewa, her mother in paper who has brought her up, because Majka does not seem capable of parenting? More importantly, can you steal something that’s yours? 
That theft is the result of another theft—Ewa’s theft of Majka’s child and thus her right to be a mother.  
In a way, it can be said that further back in the past, there’s also another theft—Ewa’s theft of Majka’s childhood, because she lacks affection and demands a lot from Majka, with which she can’t cope, and makes her feel like a disappointment her whole life. The ending, after everything that happened, may be unsatisfying, but Dekalog 7 is a film of frustration—Majka has always seen herself as a loser, and again, she loses the battle.

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