Karowa Street’s characteristic shape once made it a popular location for unsanctioned street races. Since 1964 it has served as the final stretch of the Barbórka Rally, a car race traditionally held in Warsaw in early December.
Locked inside the car together, the taxi driver (Jan Tesarz) and his killer (Mirosław Baka) race to meet their tragic fate. The sequence of events cannot be averted, not even by the mysterious young man (Artur Barciś) who briefly steps in front of the vehicle. The Decalogue’s silent observer and witness to human tragedy makes one more appearance in this episode, in the final scene, on the prison steps outside the execution chamber. The death drive in the Polonez sedan is the symbolic opposite of the thrill ride the young lawyer Piotr (Krzysztof Globisz) enjoys on his moped near Victory Square (now Piłsudski Square) after passing his bar exam. We get a closer look at the latter in the full-length version of Decalogue Five, A Short Film About Killing. The first half of the film ends with the death of a character in his car—a trope present in other Kieślowski films. Zyro, the lawyer in No End, suffers a fatal heart attack behind the wheel of his Volkswagen. In the first scene of Three Colors: Blue, a renowned French composer and his daughter are killed in a car accident, while one of the characters in Camera Buff drives his dying mother to the hospital in a hearse. Even the old judge’s dog in Three Colours: Red barely survives after Valentine hits it with her car. Only Janusz, the central character in Decalogue Three, narrowly avoids a collision with a tram driven by the mysterious young man (Artur Barciś, once again).