Mental Preservation—Dekalog: Eight (1988)
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In 1943 Warsaw, a little Jewish girl is brought to the home of a Catholic woman who has offered to provide her a fake baptismal certificate so she can be safely settled with a Catholic family. Upon her arrival, though, the woman turns her away, saying it is against the principles of her religion to lie.
This scenario sets up the events of Kieslowski’s 1988 film Dekalog: Eight, in which decades later, that little girl, who had escaped to America and survived, returns to Warsaw to confront the woman in order to make sense of what happened to her. What ensues is an exploration of what it really means to bear false witness.
We see a variety of ways in which Polish people learned to cope with the trauma of the years of Nazi occupation and Communist rule, and to reconcile with themselves and others after making various moral and psychological compromises to survive.
Music is The Duskwhales, “Take It Back”, used with permission. https://theduskwhales.bandcamp.com/
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