[187] Dekalog

Completion Date: 15 May 2019
Medium: Paint & ink on cardboard
Dimensions: 16 X 20 inches

Each piece in this series documents one episode (i.e. one of the 10 commandments) of Krzysztof Kieślowski’s TV series.

Dekalog is a 1989 Polish television drama series directed by Krzysztof Kieślowski and co-written by Kieślowski with Krzysztof Piesiewicz, with music by Zbigniew Preisner. It consists of ten one-hour films, inspired by the decalogue of the Ten Commandments. Each short film explores characters facing one or several moral or ethical dilemmas as they live in an austere housing project in 1980s Poland.

The series, which is Kieślowski’s most acclaimed work, was said in 2002 to be “the best dramatic work ever done specifically for television” and has won numerous international awards, though it was not widely released outside Europe until the late 1990s.

Dekalog 1
A university professor trains his young son in the use of reason and the scientific method, but is confronted with the unpredictability of fate. Reason is defied with tragic results.

Dekalog 3

Dekalog 5
A brutal and seemingly motiveless murder brings together a young drifter, Jacek, a taxi driver, and an idealistic lawyer, Piotr. This is the only one of the films with an explicit political stance, reflecting Kieślowski’s opposition to the death penalty. An expanded 84-minute cinema version of this episode was released as Krótki film o zabijaniu (A Short Film About Killing). Along with Dekalog: Six, the film screened in the Cannes Classics section at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival.

Dekalog 7
A young woman abducts her own child, who has been raised by her parents as her sister.