Spielzeit 26.08. - 09.10.


by Krzysztof Kie?lowski

Wednesdays, 8 pm

‘Perhaps I yearn for a world that was never there, a world in which people had more time, in which they still had relationships, in which they still spoke to one another, in which they still had time to talk to one another. But I don’t know where it is. And I don’t know whether it ever existed.’ / Krzysztof Kie?lowski

In his film cycle, Decalogue (1988/89) the legendary Polish director, Krzysztof Kie?lowski, uses ten compactly-told stories to describe very different people who find themselves in difficult life situations in which they are forced to grapple with the moral code of the Ten Commandments.‘I wanted to show people searching for the meaning of life, in moments when they face an important decision, yet without any moralising.’ In these films, Kie?lowski, director of the famous Three Colours Triology, creates subtle and moving portraits.

DECALOGUE ONE / 26th August

1st Commandment: I am the Lord thy God; thou shalt have no other gods before me.
The thirteen-year-old Pawel is searching for the meaning of life. His scientifically-minded father helps him to become familiar with computers. Using the computer to help them, they work out the thickness of the ice on a frozen lake. Pawel falls through the ice and drowns: they had miscalculated.
(length: 55 min.)

  • Film theorist Beata Prochawska will introduce the film.

DECALOGUE TWO / 2nd September

2nd Commandment: Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord in vain.
The violinist Dorata is expecting a child with her lover. Her husband has cancer – if he survives, she plans to have an abortion. The doctor’s prognosis is that there is no chance of him surviving, so Dorata keeps the child. However, her husband does survive.
(Length: 57 min.)

  • Before the filming, Christine Schönfeld will read about commandments and laws. 


3rd Commandment: Remember the Sabbath day, keep it holy.
On Christmas Eve, ex-lovers Ewa and Janusz meet up once again. Ewa tears Janusz away from his family celebrations because she wants to re-establish their former intimacy. However, Janusz decides against staying with her.
(Length: 56 min.)

4th Commandment: Honour thy father and thy mother.
The actress Anka confronts her father Michal with a letter written by her dead mother, which reveals that Michal is not her real father. That night, they come clean about their true feelings for one another. In the morning, Anka confesses that she faked the letter.
(Length: 53 min.)

DECALOGUE FIVE – A short film about murder / 16th September

5th Commandment: Thou shalt not kill.
Bewildered, helpless and full of anger, Jacek wanders the streets of Warsaw. He brutally murders a taxi driver and is sentenced to death. What his lawyer does not know is that it was the death of his beloved sister that drove Jacek to it.
(Length: c. 90 min.)

DECALOGUE SIX – A short film about love / 23rd September

6th Commandment: Thou shalt not commit adultery.
The unimposing Tomek falls in love with an older artist, Magda, who he has been observing for a long time. When he confesses his love, Magda tries to seduce him. Tomek refuses and Magda’s cynical observations hurt him so deeply that he attempts suicide. It is only then that Magda admits her real feelings for Tomek, but his love for her has been extinguished. (Length: c. 90 min.)


7th Commandment: Thou shalt not steal.
Young Majka is fighting for the right to look after her daughter Anja, who is being brought up by her mother Ewa. However, Ewa does not want to hand over the child, which leads to Majka kidnapping Anja.
(Length: c. 55 min.)

8th Commandment: Thou shalt not bear false witness.
Six-year-old Elzbieta is to be saved from the Nazis by means of a faked baptism. At the last minute, her godmother decides not to go through with the baptism, because she does not want ‘to bear false witness’, and in doing so puts the Jewish girl in grave danger. However, Elzbieta survives and forty years later the two meet again. Together they go on a journey into the past.
(Length: c. 55 min.)


9th Commandment: Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife.
Roman is a successful surgeon and is happily married. When he is diagnosed with impotence, he is tormented by insecurity and self-doubt. He catches his wife with a physics student. He becomes completely obsessed in his jealousy, and plans to end his life. (Length: 57 mins)

10th Commandment: Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's goods.
Brothers Jerzy and Arthur inherit their father’s valuable stamp collection. They are advised not to sell the collection in order to pay their debts, so instead they seek to complete it and thereby increase its worth. In order to do so, Jerzy, the older brother, is willing to sacrifice once of his kidneys in order to acquire the stamps that are lacking. (Length: 55 mins)

Members’ passes are available at the Casablanca box office. There is a one-off nominal fee of 5 €. Call 0234.3 25 91 77 for reservations.

The Ruhrtriennale film series was conceived by Constanze Albert.