Loneliness is a dreadful dis-ease that propels men and women to do strange things in their search for connection with others. Some reach out in perverse ways — the only way they can. Others engage in promiscuous sex. Both of these approaches are examined in Krzysztof Kieslowski's consideration of "Thou shalt not commit adultery."

Tomek (Olaf Lubaszenko) is a 19-year-old who lives with the mother of a friend who has gone overseas. His obsession is spying through a telescope at Magda (Grazyna Szapolowska), a beautiful woman who lives alone in an apartment across from his. Tomek puts false notifications about money orders in her mailbox to lure her to the post office where he works. Needing an even deeper connection to Magda, he signs on to be her milkman.

When he can wait no longer, Tomek declares his love to Magda and reveals that he has been peeping on her for over a year. At first she is stunned at his violation of her privacy. She tells one of her boyfriends, who punches the young man in the eye. Then, convinced that he needs to learn the lesson that there is no love between men and women but only sex, Magda goes out with Tomek and then takes him back to her apartment for some erotic surprises. This close encounter shatters his idealization of her, and he tries to commit suicide. Now they reverse roles and the woman starts obsessing about him while he recuperates in the hospital.

Kieslowski's daring interpretation of this difficult commandment eschews the easy route of condemning extramarital sex and opts instead for a critique of those who fail to respect the mysterious, wondrous, and life-enhancing enchantments of sexuality. Tomek demeans it through his voyeurism, and Magda dishonors it by her perfunctory treatment of it and her refusal to believe in the healing power of love.

In the last analysis, Kieslowski's drama admonishes us: don't mix sex with sneakiness, dishonesty, manipulativeness, cynicism, or casualness. To adulterate it with these toxins is to tarnish one of God's greatest gifts to humankind.