Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary
Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary

A Short Film About Love—Dekalog: Six (1988)

By Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast ( bio - articles - email ) | May 07, 2021 | In Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast

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The sixth episode of Kieslowski’s Dekalog series inspired by the Ten Commandments, included in the Vatican’s 1995 list of great films, deals with a characteristically modern form of adultery: voyeurism. The film begins from the perspective of a peeping tom, but gradually we start to see things through the eyes of the promiscuous woman he spies on, as the conscience of each begins to awaken.

Circumspection is required in discussing such a film, and in viewing it—while there is no nudity in the film, it crosses some moral lines. It has been said that it’s impossible to make an anti-war film because the medium can’t help but make war exciting; likewise it could be said that making an anti-voyeurism film presents challenges because certain things simply must not be displayed regardless of whether the intent is to titillate or critique. Notably, intent to titillate is not included in the Catechism’s definition of pornography.

Dekalog can be difficult to find. It can be streamed online with a (relatively cheap and surprisingly legal) subscription to https://easterneuropeanmovies.com—the best viewing experience, however, will be the recent restored edition on Blu-Ray/DVD from Criterion https://www.criterion.com/films/28661-dekalog

Older editions on Blu-Ray and DVD are available for considerably cheaper on Amazon and elsewhere, and you may have luck borrowing Dekalog from your local library.

Music is The Duskwhales, “Take It Back”, used with permission. https://theduskwhales.bandcamp.com/

Criteria is hosted by Thomas V. Mirus and James T. Majewski.

Thomas is a pianist living in New York City. He is Director of Podcasts for CatholicCulture.org and hosts the Catholic Culture Podcast. See full bio.

James is the Director of Customer Relations for CatholicCulture.org. A stage, film, and voice actor based in New York City, he is the host and narrator for Catholic Culture Audiobooks. See full bio.

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