Dekalog Criterion Collection
Ten commandments, 10 films. Krzysztof Kieslowski sat for months in his small, smoke-filled room in Warsaw writing the scripts with a lawyer he’d met in the early 1980s, during the Solidarity trials. Krzysztof Piesiewicz didn’t know how to write, the director remembered, but he could talk. For hours they talked about Poland in turmoil, and together they wrote the screenplay for “No End” (1985), which told three stories of life under martial law. The government found it unsympathetic, the opposition found it compromised, and the Catholic church found it immoral. During the controversy, the collaborators ran into each other in the rain, and Piesiewicz, maybe looking for more trouble, shouted, “Someone should make a film about the Ten Commandments”.

They made 10 films, each an hour long, for Polish television. The series ran in the late 1980s, played at Venice and other film festivals, and gathered extraordinary praise. In the same year of Dekalog, Kieslowski expanded Dekalog V and VI into feature films. A Short Film about Killing and A Short Film about Love were produced directly from these two Dekalog films respectively. Both films won wide international acclaim, with A Short Film about Killing winning two awards at Cannes.

The ten episodes are linked by a common setting, a Warsaw high-rise apartment complex where all the characters live (an early establishing shot perhaps suggests the Tower of Babel), and also by the occasional overlapping of characters from one episode into another. There is also an enigmatic, silent observer whose presence in nearly all the episodes suggests some symbolic role. Resisting the temptation to moralise or preach, in their totality the films examine the capacity of humans to deal with great challenges and contain a wealth of knowledge, thoughts, ideas, and emotions as well as being a marvellous and rare demonstration of ultimate craftsmanship in cinema.

Director: Krzysztof Kieslowski
Cast: Artur Barcis, Olgierd Lukaszewicz, Olaf Lubaszenko, Jerzy Stuhr, Anna Polony, Daniel Olbrychski, Aleksander Bardini
Country: Poland, West Germany
Genre: Crime, Drama, Romance

• New, restored 4K digital transfers of all twelve films, with uncompressed monaural soundtracks on the Blu-rays. The twelve films would be the 10 Dekalogs and the A Short Film About Killing - the 85-minute extended theatrical version of Dekalog: Five and A Short Film About Love - the 87-minute extended theatrical version of Dekalog: Six.
• Selection of archival interviews with director Krzysztof Kieslowski, taken from a 1987 television piece on the production of Dekalog: Two, excerpts from the 1995 documentary A Short Film About "Dekalog", (20:28) and a 1990 audio recording from the National Film Theatre in London (23:10 - audio only)
• New program on the formal and thematic patterns of Dekalog by film studies professor Annette Insdorf (28:00)
• New and archival interviews with Dekalog cast and crew, including cowriter Krzysztof Piesiewicz (25:14), thirteen actors (21:09), three cinematographers, editor Ewa Smal (15:21), Zdort (15:41), Idziak (2:57) Adamek (12:25), and Kieslowski confidante Hanna Krall (15:55)
• Trailers (4:54)

5 x DVD9 | NTSC | 583 minutes | 36.8 Gb + 3% rec
Language: Polish
Subtitles: English

4 x BD50 | 1080p AVC | 583 minutes | 175 Gb + 3% rec
Language: Polish
Subtitles: English