I watched the first of 10 short movies that comprise The Decalogue, Krzysztof Kieslowski's opus magnus about life. Each of the 10 is loosely based on one of the Ten Commandments, and this is is about not believing other images in God's stead.
In this case, it is about a father raising a boy who is around 10 years old, maybe a little older. His wife, or perhaps ex-wife, while not dead, is not involved in the raising of the child. The implication, at least in the first viewing, is that she is in a mental hospital or something. The man, a college professor, is raising the boy to be a rational person, and they use computers, albeit old DOS ones, quite a bit. The film opens with the boy using something like Mathematica to solve a word problem.
It is set in an gray apartment complex, where, I guess, all the other films in the series are also set. So main characters from each film drift in and out of the periphery of the other films. It is shot in a cold, realistic fashion, with a stranger who shows up at various points in all the films. It is obvious the boy is very bright, and the father cares for him very much. As does the father's sister, who has him over every now and then, and is the religious influence. She wants to have the boy start taking religious lessons at her church, which the father is perfectly willing to let him do.
Filmed in the winter, against a slate gray sky, drifting specks of snow, and below zero temperatures, the boy gets a pair of skates for Christmas. Actually, he gets them a week early, as he has uncovered their hiding place. After careful calculations on the computer, the father says the ice is thick enough and it is okay for the boy to go skating. Tragedy soon follows, and the horrible conclusion is starkly filmed, and beautifully acted.
Reading the review in the book The A List, it says that the ten films peak with films 5 and 6, so I can hardly wait. Decalogue I was an amazing tour de force, done in only about an hour and incredibly moving. As the father to two little girls, perhaps I'm more susceptible to things happening to kids, but even still, I think it is an amazing harbinger of things to come, and I can hardly wait to see the rest of them.