World Cinema is tackling Krysztof Kieslowski’s The Decalogue (1989), his ten-part TV film that consists of separate 55-minute episodes that are grounded—not always very strictly—in the Ten Commandments. Well, World Cinema is tackling the first three episodes (each if the 10 is a self-contained story), in any case. Kieslowski stated upfront that the stories were by no means meant to be literal takes on the Commandments—and they are not specifically religious in tone. (That’s not surprising since Kieslowski was hardly traditionally religious.) According to Kieslowski, the whole series is about the mere difficulty of living, and was made recognizing that the Ten Commandments are ignored and/or violated on a daily basis. It’s in essence about “things that some people found more important than God.” I have only been able to sample the episodes, but I’ve seen enough to be impressed by them and to recommend them to anyone who admired the director’s Trois Couleurs films, though it should be noted that The Decalogues are much more spare and much less stylish than the trilogy.
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