Ten television drama films, each one based on one of the Ten Commandments.
This is a series of ten shorts created for Polish Television, with plots loosely based upon the Ten Commandments, directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski. Two of these, Dekalog 5 and 6, are shorter cuts from the feature-length films–Krotki film o zabijaniu (A Short Film About Killing) and Krotki film o milosci (A Short Film About Love), respectively. They deal with the emotional turmoil suffered by humanity, when instinctual acts and societal morality conflict.
Director Stanley Kubrick described ‘Dekalog’ as the only masterpiece he could name in his lifetime.
“… There are some movies that are hard to describe. `Dekalog’ is one. It’s not really a movie. It is a ten part made-for-TV mini series. Don’t remember seeing `Dekalog’ when it was first shown on TV? Neither do I. `Dekalog’ was made for made for Polish TV in 1987 by Krzysztof Kieslowski (`Blue’, `White’, `Red’ and `Double Life Veronique’). Each segment of `Dekalog’ is about one hour and is thematically driven by one of the 10 Commandments. All the stories take place in the same high rise apartment in Warsaw. The characters in each of the stories don’t necessarily overlap, yet we see some of the characters from one story walk through another. This lack of overlap is also true of the stories and the commandments. Even knowing which commandment was the basis for a story, I couldn’t always see a direct correlation. It’s as if Kieslowski and his co-writer Krzysztof Piesiewicz view the 10 Commandments as a ruler to measure one’s actions, a curb to provide bounds for one’s choices or maybe a mirror to reflect on one’s life. This reflective view of the commandments comes through in each of the stories. In “I Am the Lord Our God” a young boy and his father rely on a computer to decide whether or not it’s safe to go out on the ice. “Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery” is about a young boy who spies on and stalks the woman next door. Magda, his neighbor, is free and easy. And when she finds out about the young voyeur, she sets out prove there is no such things as love. Commandment by commandment Kieslowski provides us our own voyeuristic moment into the lives of the people in this one Warsaw apartment. This is truly a great movie. …”