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Dekalog

  • March 4, 2017 – March 27, 2017

After a career as a respected documentary filmmaker, Polish director Krzystof Kieślowski (1942-1996) emerged as a widely recognized international voice with the success of four major films in the early 1990s—The Double Life of Veronique (1991), and his “Tricolor Trilogy” of Blue (1993), White (1993) and Red (1994). But it is The Dekalog (1988), which remains his masterpiece, securing by itself Kieślowski’s status as a major artist.

Made for Polish television, each of the ten, hour-long episodes is based on one of the Ten Commandments. Not intended to be literal illustrations, the stories are modern parables exploring how individual directives function in a complex, modern world. Though each story emanates from the same Warsaw housing complex, they function independently, otherwise united only by a silent witness who from time to time oversees the individual character’s profound dilemmas.

Kieślowski and co-screenwriter Krzystof Piesiewicz brilliantly encompass the full range of human emotions, from love and hatred to jealously and obsession, from fear and pride to the multitude human responses to mortality. Kieślowski presents no easy answers, only engaging situations wisely left for personal interpretation.

“The profound pleasures they offer derive not only from their deft metaphysical playfulness but also from their storytelling genius.”—Stephen Holden, The New York Times.

“These films have the very real ability to dramatize their ideas rather than just talking about them…They do this with such dazzling skill, you never see the ideas coming and don’t realize until much later how profoundly they have reached your heart.”—Stanley Kubrick.

“All of the films are easy and pleasurable to follow as stories, yet part of the excitement they generate stems from discussions about their meaning after their dramatic impact registers . . . Interestingly, post-screening discussions tend to be exegetical without ever becoming religious; some critics’ patter to the contrary, Kieslowski belongs to the agnostic Bergman camp, not to the mystical Tarkovsky one.” —Jonathan Rosenbaum, The Chicago Reader.

 

Passes to this series are available for $30.

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Dekalog Parts 1 & 2

Directed by Krzysztof Kieślowski

Dekalog: One “Thou Shalt Have No Other God But Me.” A math and computer obsessed father, who sees the world

Dekalog Parts 3 & 4

Directed by Krzysztof Kieślowski

Dekalog: Three “Thou Shall Honor the Sabbath.” After attending Christmas Eve Mass, a married man is pulled away from his

Dekalog Parts 5 & 6

Directed by Krzysztof Kieślowski

Dekalog: Five “Thou Shall Not Kill.” An angry young man brutally murders a taxi driver and is swiftly sentenced to

Dekalog Parts 7 & 8

Directed by Krzysztof Kieślowski

Dekalog: Seven “Thou Shall Not Steal.” A young woman, determined to face up to responsibilities and to stop living a

Dekalog Parts 9 & 10

Directed by Krzysztof Kieślowski

Dekalog: Nine, Poland, 1988 “Thou Shall Not Covet Thy Neighbor’s Wife.” Roman, a successful heart surgeon, learns that he is