Also known as The Decalogue and widely acclaimed as one of the best dramatic works ever made for television, this legendary 1989 series from Polish director Krzysztof Kieslowski (1941-1996) consists of ten individual moral tales loosely inspired by the biblical commandments. Without religious intent, Kieslowski (along with co-writer Krzysztof Piesiewicz and composer Zbigniew Preisner) created ten insightful stories exploring the complexities of love, choice and consequence in everyday life.
Each film stands alone, and episodes can be viewed in any order, although all take place around the same apartment complex in Warsaw, with characters occasionally overlapping. Each part runs around 55 minutes; episodes will be screened in pairs, so each program runs approximately 110 minutes. All are in Polish with English subtitles. Dekalog has been restored by Janus Films.
DEKALOG ONE & TWO
FRIDAY, SEPT. 9 • 3:45 & 6:15 | SUNDAY, SEPT. 11 • 8:45 | THURSDAY, SEPT. 15 • 6:15
ONE | Thou shalt not have other gods before me.
A father who teaches his son to trust in science lets him go ice-skating after determining on the computer that the pond is safe.
TWO | Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord in vain.
A married violinist is pregnant, but not by her ailing husband, and she puts a doctor in a position to decide the fate of one or the other.
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DEKALOG THREE & FOUR
FRIDAY, SEPT. 9 • 8:45 | SATURDAY, SEPT. 10 • 1:15 | MONDAY, SEPT. 12 • 6:15 | THURSDAY, SEPT. 15 • 8:45
THREE | Honor the Sabbath day.
On Christmas Eve, a taxi driver’s former lover lures him away from wife and family.
FOUR | Honor thy father and mother.
An acting student considers that her relationship with her widowed father has changed after opening a letter from the mother she never knew.
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DEKALOG FIVE & SIX
SATURDAY, SEPT. 10 • 3:45 & 6:15 | MONDAY, SEPT. 12 • 8:45 | TUESDAY, SEPT. 13 • 6:15
FIVE | Thou shalt not kill.
A young man inexplicably commits murder; he is tried and executed by the State. Kieslowski expanded this episode into his celebrated feature A Short Film about Killing.
SIX | Thou shalt not commit adultery.
A virginal young man spies on an attractive artist. She confronts him, in this extraordinary episode that was the basis for Kieslowski’s A Short Film about Love.
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DEKALOG SEVEN & EIGHT
SATURDAY, SEPT. 10 • 8:45 | SUNDAY, SEPT. 11 • 1:15 | TUESDAY, SEPT. 13 • 8:45 | WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 14 • 8:45
SEVEN | Thou shalt not steal.
Weary of living a lie, a woman abducts the six-year-old daughter who had been raised as her sister to hide the scandal of her teenage pregnancy.
EIGHT | Thou shalt not bear false witness.
Confronted by a Holocaust survivor, an elderly ethics professor must reexamine a fateful decision she had made during the Nazi occupation.
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DEKALOG NINE & TEN
SUNDAY, SEPT. 11 • 3:45 & 6:15 | WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 14 • 6:15
NINE | Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife.
A promiscuous surgeon discovers he is impotent and encourages his wife to take a lover.
TEN | Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s goods.
In this darkly comic episode, two impoverished brothers inherit their father’s priceless stamp collection and become obsessed with the rarest stamp of all.
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