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'Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness'

April 7, 2009

KALAMAZOO--The eighth film in the acclaimed Decalogue series, produced for Polish television, will be presented Monday, April 13, as part of the Western Michigan University Center for the Study of Ethics in Society Film Series.

Directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski and titled "Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness," the film, will be shown at 6:30 p.m. in Room 1025 of Brown Hall, followed by a discussion at 7:30 p.m. led by Dr. Lynwood Bartley, WMU associate professor emeritus of communication. The event is free and open to the public.

The Decalogue series explores ethical issues inspired by the Ten Commandments. "False Witness" centers on the characters Zofia, an ethics professor, and Elzbieta, a translator from New York who translates Zofia's books.

Elzbieta is working on a project concerning World War II Jewish survivors. A complicated set of circumstances has previously brought the two characters into contact with each other. Both have had to act on a falsehood because of their belief in another falsehood.

Kieslowski examines the impact of a person's words and deeds on other people and questions whether bearing false witness is ever appropriate, if so, why, and can these reasons be extended to other circumstances?

The Decalogue series has won a number of awards, including the FIPRESCI Award at the 1989 Venice Film Festival. The film is in Polish with English subtitles.


For more information, contact the Center for the Study of Ethics in Society at (269) 387-4397 or ethicscenter@wmich.edu.

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, (269) 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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