347 – The Decalogue (1989)


My journey through Roger Ebert’s The Great Movies has led me to some interesting films that I might not otherwise have seen; Satyajit Ray’s Apu Trilogy is a master work of Indian cinema, but I wouldn’t have gotten to it without help. Likewise with Broken Blossoms. Invariably these movies have been interesting for what they represent, even if I didn’t necessarily connect with them as much as Roger did. My tour guide through film shakes things up a bit now, however, recommending The Decalogue, a 1989 Polish television mini-series from director Krzysztof Kieślowki. Each of the ten episodes – co-written by Kieślowski and now-member-of-Polish-parliament Krzysztof Piesiewicz – features a different cast of characters in and around a large apartment building enacting one of the Ten Commandments – Roman Catholic-style. This type of cinematic television was not uncommon in Europe in the 70’s and 80’s, and its influence is now crossing the Atlantic with the new wave of prestige anthology series like True Detective and Fargo.

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