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The biblical root of the [Dekalog] may suggest didacticism on its face, but whatever morals are advanced are decidedly ambivalent.
They are adults, for the most part outside organized religion, faced with situations in their own lives that require them to make moral choices. You shouldn’t watch the films all at once, but one at a time. Then if you are lucky and have someone to talk with, you discuss them, and learn about yourself. Or if you are alone, you discuss them with yourself, as so many of Kieslowski’s characters do.
Being a pessimist at heart, Kieslowski, who cowrote all 10 scripts, unfolds a variety of human weaknesses, shows how difficult it is to conform to one commandment, let alone 10, and considers human frailty with sympathy but little hope.
Throughout the history of film, there has been a select group of standout pictures -- movies that, for technical or artistic reasons, have made an indelible imprint on viewers. Taken as one ten-hour exploration of the human experience, Decalogue is deserving of a place in that unique cadre of films.
Dekalog certainly lives up to its reputation as a mind-altering masterpiece. You marvel at the precision of its filmmaking even as it spreads an atmosphere of moral unease.
The A.V. Club
The Decalogue finds Kieslowski and co-scenarist Krzysztof Piesiewicz turning a delicate cycle of intimate, funny, heartbreaking, and compassionate works into a symphony of human fallibility.
Kieslowski's beautiful, sad and clear-eyed The Decalogue -- an overwhelming psychological and spiritual epic for our times -- faces the darkness, sends out a song against the storm.
You have to see all 10 not because they add up to a coherent whole, but because each is excellent in a distinctive way. I don’t want to go into each of the plots in any detail because one of the joys of Decalogue is its flair for storytelling in the most enjoyable way imaginable.
The New York Times
The profound pleasures they offer derive not only from their deft metaphysical playfulness but also from their storytelling genius.
The stories are shocking, tender, sometimes funny, with a soap-opera abundance of plot. Always, the camera stares, respectfully neutral about ordinary people grappling — inconsistently, as men and women do — with the ordinary mysteries of being human. You’ll stare back, amazed it’s taken more than a decade to spread the word.
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