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The Decalogue (Complete Set)

4.7 out of 5 stars 91 customer reviews

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(Apr 18, 2000)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Krzysztof Kieslowski has fashioned a cinematic masterpiece. This collection of ten films is a work of supreme daring, imagination, and sheer brilliance, riveting and profound. Each of the films uses one of The Ten Commandments as a thematic springboard. As the films in "The Decalogue" were completed, they awed audiences at film festivals worldwide. The best actors, cinematographers and film technicians joined Kieslowski and his co writer and long time collaborator Krzysztof Piesiewicz in these extraordinary stories. The experience of watching "The Decalogue" is so compelling and powerful that film critic Kenneth Turan wrote that to see it was "nothing less than a privilege."

From the Back Cover

From the back cover:


I - "I am the Lord thy God: Thou shalt not have other gods before me."

A university professor puts his faith in the infallibility of the computer with tragic personal results.

II - "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain."

A doctor, asked to predict the fate of a dying man, also seals the fate of an unborn child.


III - "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy."

A married man deserts his family on Christmas Eve to search the streets for his ex-lover's errant new boyfriend.

IV - "Honor thy father and thy mother."

A young woman learns a deep family secret by opening a sealed envelope in her father's room which changes their lives forever.


V - "Thou shalt not kill."

An extraordinary parable on capital punishment: an aimless young man murders a taxi-driver and is executed by hanging. Who has the right to take the life of another?

VI - "Thou shalt not commit adultery."

A young postal worker spies on his neighbor; his obsession turns to love and a meeting proves dangerous and pivotal for both.


VII - Thou shalt not steal."

Six-year-old Ania is made to believe that her mother is really her sister in this powerful allegory on the theft of love.

VIII - "Thou shalt not bear false witness against they neighbor."

An ethics professor confronts her past when a Jewish survivor reveals herself as the young girl the professor refused to hide from the Nazis during the Occupation.


IX - "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife."

A once promiscuous, now impotent doctor encourages his wife to take a lover only to be consumed by jealousy.

X - "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's goods."

A black comedy of two financially strapped brothers who unexpectedly inherit a small fortune in postage stamps.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Artur Barcis, Olgierd Lukaszewicz, Olaf Lubaszenko, Piotr Machalica, Jan Tesarz
  • Format: Box set, Color, NTSC
  • Language: Polish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Image Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: April 18, 2000
  • Run Time: 572 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004S89U
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,309 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Decalogue (Complete Set)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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By A Customer on March 13, 2000
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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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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Format: DVD
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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