Dekalog: The Ten Commandments - Parts 1 - 5 and Parts 6 - 10

Dekalog: The Ten Commandments - Parts 1 - 5 and Parts 6 - 10

DVD Rating: ***

Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Read Angus Wolfe Murray's film review of Dekalog: The Ten Commandments - Parts 1 - 5 and Parts 6 - 10

They apologise before the start of Eileen Anipare's interview with this man who was renowned for avoiding publicity. No need. The camera may go into freeze frame occasionally and the whole thing resemble something cobbled together by students, but the content is what matters and the content has an acute fascination.

Kieslowski looks exhausted and chain smokes. The interview takes place in January, 1995, in a small room with a plain desk and no decorative features. The austere director has an austere office, you think. Well, yes. Anipare sits in a chair on this side of the desk. She is attractive and young. Kieslowski does not patronise her with charm.

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The series was shot in Dzika, not Warsaw, because the high-rise estate was more old-fashioned and spacious. Financed by the Ministry of Culture and Polish TV, it cost $100,000 and made over $3million worldwide. "We didn't sit down to be understood by a Western audience," he says. "We agreed to leave out politics altogether."

He admits to walking a thin line between fiction and documentary. Also, he is an admirer of Ken Loach. "I liked Kes very much." He describes Dekalog as concerned with isolation, loneliness and lack of love.

"I'm not a moralist," he says.

"Did you find the answers?" his interviewer asks.

"No," he replies. "Because they don't exist."

He is concerned by Anipare's reference to freedom, as if it affects his characters, which he refuses to accept, again denying any indication of political inference.

He makes a point of backing away from the image of the auteur. "Generally, I don't look through the finder. Cameramen deal with the lighting. I never write what is called a storyboard." Scripts evolve out of reality, the business of living. He does not accept that he is indifferent to criticism. His responses are muted, that's all.

"You must be a modest man," Anipare says.

"No," Kieslowski says. "I am a normal man."

A few weeks later, he was dead.

Reviewed on: 31 Aug 2002
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Dekalog: The Ten Commandments - Parts 1 - 5 and Parts 6 - 10 packshot
Ten films set in Warsaw, based on the 10 commandments.
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Product Code: ART 024A DVD/ART 024

Region: 0

Ratio: 4:3

Sound: Dolby Digital

Extras: Interview with Krzysztof Kieslowski; Biography and Filmography

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