PRINT December 1990


Krzysztof Kieślowski

KRZYSZTOF KIEŚLOWKI'S “THE DECALOGUE,” 1988, is a series of investigations into the question of choice, both esthetic and moral. The director and his scriptwriter, Krzysztof Piesiewicz, based this series of ten one-hour television dramas on the Ten Commandments. (Two of the films, A Short Film about Killing and A Short Film about Love, have been expanded to feature length for cinema release.) The works have a number of constants: each is based on one of the commandments, some more directly than others. Each takes place in a bunkerlike apartment complex in Warsaw. And characters reappear from one film to another, sometimes as protagonists, sometimes merely as figures glimpsed in elevators or hallways.

Decalogue 1, Thou Shalt Worship One God, undermines the notions of certainty and blind acceptance called for in the commandment. The protagonist, Krzysztof, is a college professor of linguistics

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