St Mark’s concluded its parish retreat this morning viewing the first episode of Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Decalogue, a story about a father, who is a theoretical mathematician, and his admiring son. Like Claudel’s “I’ve Loved You So Long,” Kieslowski’s film touches upon the death of the innocents. And, like Claudel’s film, it brings us face to face with our impotence in the face of the tragedies that life sets in our path.
But where Claudel’s film invites us to see Juliette as a type of Christ, a suffering parent who silently endures the accusations of those she loves, in Kieslowski’s First Commandment, the parent’s love for his son and trust in rationality can only emerge as a confrontation with God following his son’s death.
In both films, pa/maternal love, as well as the care of extended family and friends is complicated by the events of everyday life.
This is the first time St Mark’s has gathered for retreat around contemporary movies: Claudel’s I’ve Loved You So Long, Pasolini’s Gospel According to St Matthew, Monty Python’s Life of Brian, Wim Wenders’ Wings of Desire, Woody Allen’s Crimes and Misdemeanors, and Kieslowski’s Decalogue. These theologically, socially, and spiritually rich films will continue to inspire hours of reflection and discussion.