Krzysztof Kieślowski directs Grażyna Szapołowska, Olaf Lubaszenko and Mirosław Baka in these Polish arthouse hits that follow a stalker who tries to connect with his beloved and a killer who faces the death penalty.
Two films, both expanded from episodes of Kieślowski’s Ten Commandment’s TV series Dekalog. Love is a beautiful little slice of strange romance. It paves the way for the themes and style of his Three Colours Trilogy. Grażyna Szapołowska gives a rapturous performance as the woman who discovers she is being watched by an obsessed stranger across the way. While never condoning the toxic masculinity of the boy who spies on her, this reverse Rear Window has a sweet poetry. Killing is harder going. A treatise against Poland’s continued practice of the death penalty, it is a self consciously ugly film. The image is filtered to look sickly green and the lens distorted so that the frame never settles. We watch various characters fall into place (all of Kieślowski’s tales seem fascinated with fate and human beings tumbling into a certain unavoidable combination) before a prolonged, grim murder… then the brutality of the state sanctioned execution of the guilty. The TV episode was instrumental in changing the law and ending the practice allegedly. The pair of films are a fascinating view of Poland in the last gasps of Soviet life.
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