Decalogue IV

Decalogue IV

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

One of the great cinematic portraits of an acting student, the fourth episode of the Decalogue centers on a young woman whose desire to perform is inextricably bound up in her neuroses. While I don't know if any of the aspiring actresses I met in college secretly wanted to sleep with their fathers, I recognized a lot of those women in Anka, the heroine of DECALOGUE IV. The character's impetuosity, mercurial logic, and unusual sexual urges all rang true to me.

What makes the episode really unnerving, though, is the character of Michal, Anka's father. How long has this devoted single father waited for his daughter to admit to incestuous yearnings? As in DECALOGUE III, a subdued male protagonist serves as a foil to a more extroverted female protagonist, and in the end, Kieslowski reveals, poignantly, how much the two need each other.

On a related note, is sex in a Kieslowski film ever not related to the characters' psychological baggage?