For Reel

A Short Film About Love (1988)
March 25, 2011, 5:09 am
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Krzysztof Kieslowski

An extended cut of the sixth episode of the Decalogue series, A Short Film About Love is one of Krzysztof Kieslowski’s many masterpieces. A nineteen-year-old voyeur, Tomek, watches a beautiful older woman, Magda, in the apartment complex across from his. After confronting her, what ensues is a fascinating deconstruction of the nature of obsession and love, and the line (or lack thereof) that distinguishes them. Ironically, Kieslowski shows how Magda, previously the victim, becomes an obsessor herself, and with a point-of-view change the film fully articulates how Magda’s outlook on love is influenced by her relationship with Tomek. In this sense, Tomek can be considered a Christlike figure, complete with a metaphorical resurrection. The performances of Olaf Lubazenko, Grazyna Szapolowska, and Stefanie Iwinska as Tomek’s Godmother are all spectacular – particularly Szapolowska, whose character in lesser hands could have reduced the film to a chauvinistic tale of the cruelty of women and their dire need for a man’s affection. However, Szapolowska never compromises Magda’s dignity even at her most vulnerable, and it is because of her that the film’s delicate truths can unbridledly resonate.

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