When Krzysztof Kieślowski began production on a ten-part Polish television series whose budget was so low that he could only afford two takes maximum, nobody foresaw that the end result would be acclaimed as one of the greatest cinema achievements of the late twentieth century.
But that’s what Dekalog is: as much an intricate work of moral philosophy as it is a collection of psychologically riveting narratives. Each standalone story revolves around the consequences arising from a breach of one of the Ten Commandments, but this is no finger-wagging religious tract: Kieślowski was one of film history’s keenest observers of human nature, and his troubled, vainglorious, self-deceiving, deeply flawed characters (many played by some of Poland’s finest character actors) are all too universally recognisable.
But Dekalog is merely the highlight of a box set that compiles virtually all of Kieślowski’s television work, starting with his first professional short fiction film and continuing with four feature-length pieces that are in every way as probing and incisive as his better-known cinema films.
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