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The Decalogue (1988)

Artur Barcis , Olgierd Lukaszewicz , Krzysztof Kieslowski  |  NR |  DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)

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The Decalogue + Three Colors: Blue, White, Red (Criterion Collection) + Double Life of Veronique (Criterion Collection)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Artur Barcis, Olgierd Lukaszewicz, Olaf Lubaszenko, Piotr Machalica, Jan Tesarz
  • Directors: Krzysztof Kieslowski
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: Polish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: FACETS
  • DVD Release Date: August 19, 2003
  • Run Time: 584 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00009Y3OK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,841 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Decalogue" on IMDb

Special Features

  • "Roger Ebert on The Decalogue"
  • "On the Set of The Decalogue"
  • "Kieslowski Meets the Press"
  • "Kieslowski Known and Unknown"
  • Booklet

Editorial Reviews


One of the great movie achievements of our time. --Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune

Product Description

Krzysztof Kieslowski's Decalogue explores the timeless moral issues of human existence through ten contemporary tales, each based on one of the Ten Commandments. Originally produced for Polish television, this brilliant series of ten separate but subtly intertwining films transcended the boundaries of film and TV, winning honors in both arenas as it played around the world. The Decalogue won the FIPRESCI Award at the 1989 Venice Film Festival, was honored as Best Foreign Television Program by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts and was named Best Foreign Language Film by the Chicago Film Critics Association in 1997. Each episode was co-written by Kieslowski's longtime collaborator Krzysztof Piesiewicz and features music by Zbigniew Preisner. All ten films in a three-disc set.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
62 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars decalogue review March 13, 2000
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
If you've seen Sopranos on HBO, you will know why people respond so strongly to that television show--it is so deeply rooted in the reality of OUR world while ostensibly being about the New Jersey mafia syndicate. Watching the Sopranos for the first time, I thought about the Decalogue because it created that same sense of recognition and identification for me when I watched it several years ago in college. Being from Eastern Europe, I was used to the dark tone and strong irony of its cinema, however, the Kielowski series presented a much more profound and universal examination of Europeans and their value system than the usual fare. Kieslowski suffuses the series with the spirit of moral and cultural awakening and sophistication that seemed to be sweeping Europe at the time. The series is also seen as a precursor to his much more disingenuous and sardonic colors trilogy that came in the 90's. What upsets me about Decalogue is that it starts out stronger than it finishes. The first few episodes (1,4,5 especially) have an emotional purity and resonance that is matched by few full-length movies I've seen. In later episodes, Kieslowski's technique and writing improve but the themes lack the initial urgency and depth of perspective. In all, though DC is a great series that must be seen to be appreciated. My favorite episode is #4, based on the commandment "honor thy father and thy mother". It is about a college student who discovers a letter from her dead mother informing her, prematurely, that the man she thinks is her father is not. This opens the way to the girl's suppressed attraction to her father figure, which is examined with such frankness and intimacy that you wonder how the director fit it all into 50 minutes. Read more ›
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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Emotional Innocense Lost February 8, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
This moving ten part series that originally aired in Poland in 1989, and then swept across the rest of Europe in 1990 and '91, really put Kieslowski on the map as a World filmmaker. He was, of course, an extremely influential filmmaker in Poland, and his "pre-Dekalog" films had a tight band of international fans (I highly recomend No End). But with these ten fifty minute films he broke open the flood gates to his last four films- The Double Life of Veronique, and the Three Colors Trilogy. Which are, in my opinion, among the best films ever made.
The ten short features of the Decalogue mirror each one of the ten commandments in real-life situations. Watching these in order is an emotional journey that's tough to explain. The films have this Everyman feel, and somehow at the end you feel as if you've visited the apartment complex (where all ten films are set) in Warsaw. You feel with each of these stories a layer of innocense slipping away. Particualry enjoyable was Honor thy Father, and Though Shalt not Commit Adultery (which was turned into the somwewhat dissapointing 90 minute film A Short Film About Love).
I recomend these films highly. You won't regret the purchase . . . unless your favorite director is Michael Bay.
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48 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film-making September 3, 2001
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
There are so few films - even ones that I would give 4- and 5-star ratings - worthy of study as literature, that it is a somewhat overwhelming experience to watch Krzystof Kieslowski's The Decalogue and realize that he managed to make ten of them. Yes, they are of varying quality; there are better and worse films in the series. But they are all, without fail, thought-provoking; deeply stirring. In retrospect, I am almost ashamed of the four stars I recently gave Hannibal - but I was applying a vastly different standard to that film. Compared with the usual Hollywood drek, it was quite good, with its cheeky fusion of low-brow grand guignol and smart literary references. Compared with The Decalogue...well, it would deserve negative stars.
Originally seen on Polish television, The Decalogue consists of ten hour-long films that each illuminate one of the Ten Commandments. "Illuminate" is the right word, too. No simple-minded Sunday-school lessons, these. The films of The Decalogue set up the sort of difficult moral dilemmas people face in the real world - the kind of dilemmas that turn seemingly simple choices into profoundly difficult matters of conscience, where every possible path seems shrouded in the gray mist of uncertainty. Big issues like abortion, the death penalty, religious faith, and sexuality are explored with as much frankness as artistic restraint. It is this restraint that makes The Decalogue suitable not only for adults, but for young adults, too. Decalogue Six, for example, would make an appropriately sober introduction for teenagers to the prickly complexities of sexual ethics. I wish I had seen it when I was about fifteen. If and when I have children of my own, I fully intend, when they are the right age, to sit down and watch The Decalogue with them.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Mystery of Life at 24 Frames Per Second May 21, 2000
The only other Kieslowski film I had seen before "The Decalogue" was "Three Colours: Red", and that astounded me (here was a film that seemed to capture what it is to live in this strange strange world with utter precision and glowing artistry). But "The Decalogue" is something else entirely... I've just watched the first two films in the series, and the depth of emotion and feeling captured and revealed by Kieslowki's camera is overwhelming. I don't have children, yet I get the feeling of what it is like to be a father and suffer great loss from watching the first of the series (I have a suspicion that all of the films will instil profound emotions in me - I'm preparing to watch the next three tonight and then the remaining five tomorrow - it might be the most important marathon I'll ever run...). If you like your cinema to teach you about the depth of everyday living then Kieslowski's "Decalogue" will have you weeping with new-found wisdom.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Still a spellbinding collection of stories
I had to recently replace my copy of The Decalogue -- loaned it to someone who then disappeared -- and it was a great opportunity to revisit one of the greatest collections of... Read more
Published 25 days ago by T. Auclair
5.0 out of 5 stars there isn't a term to describe how great and fascinating of a director...
films like "The Decalogue" and "Blue", "White" and "Red" remind everyone how great and captivating films can be
Published 1 month ago by pouvaret
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
The best! Highly recomend!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Published 2 months ago by Anna Aizic
5.0 out of 5 stars "10 Stories, 10 Morale tales. 10 Days before Christmas"
Krzysztof Kieślowski's "The Decalogue," is a collection of deep and philosophical musings played as morality tales. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Pavel Richardson
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
I use the first film every year in my religion class. The attempt to live as if the questions of "What is death" and "what is the soul" can be avoided is dealt... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Heywho
5.0 out of 5 stars "Heavy, deep, and real"
Each "commandment" episode is intense, real, and causes the viewer to think more deeply. Definitely should be seen with others in order to discuss/process the stories!
Published 11 months ago by Lucy Schmid
5.0 out of 5 stars Kubrick liked it too!
I really enjoy the stories and world of characters in this series of short films. All of the films are thought provoking and suspenseful, and beautiful filmed.
Published 12 months ago by MKB
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Quality Video
The quality of this video is remarkable considering it was broadcast over Polish TV in the USSR era. The stories and the story telling are as good as I expected them to be. Read more
Published 18 months ago by William I. Sikora
5.0 out of 5 stars The Divine Dekalog
Dekalog is a path-breaking ten part film series on the meeting of the divine and the human in cinema. Read more
Published 18 months ago by off the tropic
5.0 out of 5 stars A Soul-Stirring MASTERPIECE...
...The Decalogue is a shining example of what great cinema can be: PROFOUND. THOUGHT PROVOKING. INSPIRING. Read more
Published on July 3, 2012 by wildwood
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Topic From this Discussion
Will this be Criterion's next blu-ray set??
I *hope* so! (fingers crossed)
Mar 10, 2012 by MAB |  See all 3 posts
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