A Short Film About Love (1988) - Rotten Tomatoes

A Short Film About Love (1988)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

In this ironic Polish seriocomedy, Tomek (Olaf Lubaszenko), a young shy postal worker, worships Magda (Grazyna Szapolowska) from afar -- literally, peering at her through spyglasses. She shatters his illusions about pure, ideal love by stating matter-of-factly that she believes only in sex. Despondent, he tries to forget her, and when this fails, he attempts to kill himself. Upon recovering from his botched suicide, Tomek is amazed to learn that Magda has become hopelessly infatuated with him. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi


Artur Barcis
as Young Man
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News & Interviews for A Short Film About Love

Critic Reviews for A Short Film About Love

All Critics (13) | Top Critics (4)

Its picture of a world where people spy on one another reverberates with a post-cold-war paranoia, evoking the chilling notion that privacy, like love, may also be just an illusion.

August 30, 2004 | Rating: 4/5
New York Times
Top Critic

It's well-crafted and satisfying, even if it lacks the depth of Red.

August 7, 2004 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

A remarkable 1988 Polish feature expanded by Krzysztof Kieslowski from his film The Decalogue.

August 7, 2004 | Full Review…
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

A Short Film About Love, despite its title, has more to do with guilt and remorse and manipulation; it might not be about love at all.

September 1, 2009 | Full Review…
City Pages, Minneapolis/St. Paul

Far more compelling and beautiful than the Dekalog episode which shares its story.

August 4, 2008 | Rating: 9/10 | Full Review…
Antagony & Ecstasy

It's an absolutely stunning film that blows you away with its droll humor and its uncovering of sublime emotional truths.

September 5, 2007 | Rating: A | Full Review…
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for A Short Film About Love


Compelling, beautiful, affecting. Krzysztof Kieslowski's difficult and resonant meditation on all the effects that love has (guilt, manipulation, shame, remorse ect.). The cinematography is typically expressive and the performances are typically gut wrenching. Kieslowski never ceased to move his audiences in the most unique and unexpected ways.

Steven Carrier
Steven Carrier

Super Reviewer

Kieslowski crafts voyeuristic obsession into a visceral odyssey, illustrating that a flame can indeed be drawn to a moth.

Randy Tippy
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer


A well-acted, sensitively directed film, but it's hard to get past the unlikelihood of a woman being actually *touched* by her stalker's obsession. Additional note: I really don't agree with the AllMovie synopsis posted above. Tomek knew Magda "spread it around" from the beginning, so her belief in empty sex wasn't particularly shattering for him. I'd say his suicide attempt was more about shame -- being so unable to connect with others that he couldn't physically couple with the woman when she finally offered herself. Saying he "tries to forget her" doesn't ring true either, nor do the "amazed" or "hopelessly infatuated" descriptions. Did the reviewer even see the film?

Eric Broome
Eric Broome

Super Reviewer

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