The Decalogue (1989) reviewed ★★★★★
It is quite a shame that Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Polish masterpiece be hidden from American audiences due to it’s foreign nature, and our unwillingness to explore international cinema though it might be a gem as precious as the 10 Commandments themselves. Now, I compare this film(s) to the two tablets themselves due to how The Decalogue is a set of 10 films comprised each out of a different commandment. Before you shelf this off as a preachy Biblical educational video, keep in mind that the stories here are told with such subtlety, that their identifications with specific commandments are usually blurred. The uniqueness of this piece is the setting in which it is told: a 10 story apartment building, of which each floor holds a different protagonist from one of the 10 films. This concept helps us identify ourselves with the delicateness of their situations due to how the moral debates and explorations our characters find themselves struggling with can be found within any one of us, in any neighborhood or floor. Each film within The Decalogue series forces us to confront characters in moral mishaps of which we have no choice but to frown upon if not given a second glance. However, with that second glance we see ourselves in these characters. We see that given their circumstances and their lives up to that point, we would be doing the exact same thing, and are, thus, ashamed of judging such people who we undoubtedly find ourselves relating to emotionally and personally.
Thank you for reading,
Omar Antonio Iturriaga