Dekalog 05 - Thou Shalt Not Kill (1988)

Original Title : Dekalog, piec
Director : Krzysztof Kieslowski
Writer : Krzysztof Piesiewicz
Krzysztof Kieslowski
Genre : Drama
Country : Poland
Language : Polish
Producer : Ryszard Chutkowski
Music : Zbigniew Preisner
Photography : Slavomir Idziak
IMDB ID : 0094987
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poster for "Dekalog 05 - Thou Shalt Not Kill" by Krzysztof Kieslowski (1988)
Dekalog 05 - Thou Shalt Not Kill (1988) - Krzysztof Kieslowski


Miroslaw Baka Lazar Jacek
Krzysztof Globisz Piotr
Jan Tesarz Taxi Driver
Zbigniew Zapasiewicz Police Inspector
Barbara Dziekan Cashier


"Thou shalt not kill" - a shorter, slightly less graphic version of 'A Short Film About Killing' , but the plot is essentially the same: murder followed by execution, two killings, one illegal, one legal, both hideous.


The Best of the Series Dostoevskian descent into hell, Dostoevskian comprehension of evil as inseparable from good and inseparably alloyed to suffering, thus deserving of mercy, no matter how brutal. The piling up of detail, the flow of events, is tight, relentless, funereal, and ominous, shot through half-smoked glass to lend it the surreality of a twilit underworld (compare to Alexander Sokurov's Mother and Son, 1997). With a minimum of strokes, the murderer is fully realized, his face alone is unforgettable, his flicking of coffee grounds at the girls in the cafe window illustrates in one simple gesture his murderous innocence. The killing itself is harrowing, hands-on ugly. The narrative is Spartan, matching its hardness to the tale. The only spurious step is the editorializing by the attorney against capital punishment, he would have been more effective if more reserved in his passion and anguish. To its credit, there's no silly color coding, no overtly intellectual structuralism. This is easily the most transparent, thus powerful, storytelling.