Mireielle Lynch

Written by Mireielle Lynch

Published: 03 Oct 2023

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett

Source: Liberalarts.utexas.edu

The Decalogue is a masterpiece of cinema that has captivated audiences and garnered critical acclaim since its release in 1989. Directed by the renowned Polish filmmaker Krzysztof Kie?lowski, the movie consists of ten hour-long episodes, each inspired by one of the Ten Commandments. The Decalogue weaves together intricate narratives and explores the complexities of human morality, making it a thought-provoking and compelling cinematic experience. With its profound themes, stellar performances, and impeccable storytelling, The Decalogue has cemented its status as a landmark in world cinema. In this article, we will delve into 50 fascinating facts about The Decalogue, shedding light on its production, impact, and the artistic genius behind its creation. So, grab some popcorn, sit back, and immerse yourself in the fascinating world of The Decalogue.

Key Takeaways:

  • The Decalogue: A Timeless Polish Masterpiece
    Explore the emotional and thought-provoking world of The Decalogue, a Polish TV series that delves into moral dilemmas, human nature, and the complexities of life.
  • Captivating Characters and Deep Reflections
    Experience the captivating storytelling and rich symbolism of The Decalogue, as it immerses viewers in a world of moral ambiguity, emotional depth, and universal themes.
Table of Contents

A Masterpiece of Polish Cinema

The Decalogue is a renowned Polish television series created by filmmaker Krzysztof Kie?lowski. It consists of ten hour-long episodes, each inspired by one of the Ten Commandments.

International Acclaim

The Decalogue has received universal acclaim and is often hailed as one of the greatest achievements in world cinema.

A Philosophical Exploration

The series delves into complex moral dilemmas and explores the nature of human behavior, ethics, and the consequences of our choices.

Multiple Awards

The Decalogue has won numerous awards including the Cannes Film Festival Award for Best TV Series and the BAFTA TV Award for Best Foreign Language Series.

Deeply Emotional

The Decalogue evokes powerful emotions and tackles themes of love, betrayal, guilt, and redemption.

Character-Driven Narratives

Each episode focuses on different characters, allowing for a deeply engaging storytelling experience.

Intricate Storytelling

Kie?lowski masterfully weaves multiple storylines together, creating a rich and interconnected narrative tapestry.

Captivating Performances

The Decalogue features compelling performances by a talented ensemble cast, bringing the characters to life with authenticity and depth.

Stunning Cinematography

The visual aesthetics of The Decalogue are visually striking, employing a blend of natural and symbolic imagery to enhance the storytelling.

Thought-Provoking Dialogue

The dialogue in The Decalogue is profound and thought-provoking, offering viewers a deeper insight into the characters’ inner conflicts.

Powerful Religious Symbolism

The series incorporates religious symbolism to explore universal themes of faith, spirituality, and the human condition.

Unique Structure

Each episode of The Decalogue is self-contained, allowing viewers to watch them in any order without compromising the overall viewing experience.

Cultural Significance

The Decalogue reflects the social and political climate of 1980s Poland, offering a glimpse into the lives of ordinary people during a turbulent time in history.

Critical Analysis

The Decalogue has been the subject of extensive critical analysis and academic research, further solidifying its status as a masterpiece of cinema.

Emotional Impact

Viewers often find themselves emotionally invested in the characters and their dilemmas, leading to profound introspection and reflection.

Unforgettable Moments

The Decalogue is filled with unforgettable moments that leave a lasting impression on the viewer, resonating long after the credits roll.

Depth of Themes

The series explores a wide range of themes including love, morality, justice, personal responsibility, and the human capacity for both good and evil.

Influence on Filmmakers

The Decalogue has had a significant influence on filmmakers around the world, inspiring them to explore complex moral dilemmas in their work.

Examination of Human Nature

Kie?lowski deftly examines the intricacies of human nature and poses challenging questions about what it means to be human.

Timeless Relevance

Despite being created over three decades ago, The Decalogue remains relevant to this day, resonating with audiences and provoking deep reflection.

Impactful Visual Metaphors

Kie?lowski employs powerful visual metaphors to convey complex emotions and ideas, adding another layer of depth to the storytelling.

Moral Ambiguity

The Decalogue thrives on moral ambiguity, highlighting the complexities of human choices and challenging traditional notions of right and wrong.

Psychological Exploration

The series delves into the depths of the human psyche, exploring the motivations and internal struggles of its characters.

Universally Relatable

Although set in Poland, the themes and struggles depicted in The Decalogue are universally relatable, transcending cultural boundaries.

Deep Character Development

Kie?lowski intricately develops each character, allowing viewers to witness their growth, evolution, and transformation over the course of the series.

Engaging Narrative Structure

The Decalogue captivates viewers with its non-linear storytelling and unpredictable narrative twists, keeping them on the edge of their seats.

Aesthetic Beauty

The cinematography of The Decalogue is revered for its poetic beauty and attention to detail, adding a visual allure to the series.

Metaphysical Exploration

Kie?lowski delves into metaphysical concepts, blurring the boundaries between reality and spirituality.

Cinema as a Medium for Reflection

The Decalogue encourages viewers to reflect on their own lives and ponder the moral complexities of the world around them.

Intimate Portrayal of Relationships

The series provides an intimate and raw portrayal of various relationships, showcasing the intricacies of human connections.

Evocative Soundtrack

The Decalogue features a hauntingly beautiful soundtrack, perfectly complementing the visuals and enhancing the emotional impact of the series.

Exploration of Love and Loss

Kie?lowski explores the depths of human love and the profound grief that accompanies loss, making the audience contemplate the fragility of life.

Ethical Dilemmas

The Decalogue presents viewers with thought-provoking ethical dilemmas, challenging them to question their own moral compass.

Artistic Prowess

The Decalogue showcases Kie?lowski’s incredible artistic prowess, solidifying his place as a master of filmmaking.

Reflection of Society

At its core, The Decalogue is a reflection of society, offering insights into the complexities and contradictions of human existence.

Unpredictable Plot Twists

The series keeps viewers on their toes with unexpected plot twists and turns, adding an element of suspense and intrigue.

Complex Characters

The characters in The Decalogue are multi-dimensional, with their flaws and virtues skillfully portrayed by the talented cast.

Exploration of Parent-Child Relationships

The series delves into the complex dynamics of parent-child relationships, exploring themes of responsibility, sacrifice, and unconditional love.

Sublime Directing

Kie?lowski’s directorial prowess shines in The Decalogue, as he meticulously crafts each episode with precision and attention to detail.

Emotional Rollercoaster

The Decalogue takes viewers on an emotional rollercoaster, eliciting a range of emotions from joy to sadness, empathy to anger.

Uncompromising Exploration of Truth

Kie?lowski fearlessly delves into the complexities of truth, challenging societal norms and exposing the gray areas that exist in our lives.

Transcendent Themes

The Decalogue grapples with transcendent themes such as destiny, fate, and the interconnectedness of human lives.

Cinematic Poetry

Kie?lowski’s poetic approach to filmmaking shines throughout The Decalogue, making it a visually and intellectually captivating experience.

Celebration of Humanity

The Decalogue celebrates the resilience and inherent goodness of humanity, reminding us of our capacity for compassion and understanding.

Exploration of Freedom and Constraint

The series examines the delicate balance between personal freedom and the constraints imposed by societal expectations and moral codes.

Cinematic Immersion

The Decalogue immerses viewers in a cinematic world that invites contemplation and self-reflection, making it a truly transformative experience.

Ethereal Atmosphere

The Decalogue creates an ethereal atmosphere that lingers long after the final episode, leaving viewers with a sense of wonder and introspection.

Study of Conscience

Kie?lowski’s exploration of conscience in The Decalogue challenges viewers to examine their own moral compass and introspect on their actions.

Universal Appeal

Although deeply rooted in Polish culture and history, The Decalogue resonates with audiences from all walks of life, transcending borders and languages.

An Enduring Legacy

The Decalogue’s enduring legacy is a testament to its profound impact on cinema, continuing to inspire and captivate audiences to this day.


In conclusion, The Decalogue is a truly remarkable movie that deserves all the praise it has received. With its thought-provoking themes, masterful directing, and stellar performances, it has cemented its place as a timeless classic. The movie’s exploration of ethical dilemmas and human nature is both captivating and deeply emotional. Whether you are a fan of art cinema or simply looking for a thought-provoking movie experience, The Decalogue is a must-watch. Its unique format, consisting of ten individual stories centered around the Ten Commandments, sets it apart from other films and gives it a profound and cohesive narrative. By challenging our beliefs and raising timeless questions about morality and life, The Decalogue leaves a lasting impact on its viewers.


1. What is The Decalogue?

The Decalogue is a series of ten short films created by Polish director Krzysztof Kieslowski. Each film revolves around one of the Ten Commandments and explores the moral and ethical quandaries faced by its characters.

2. Who directed The Decalogue?

The Decalogue was directed by the renowned Polish filmmaker Krzysztof Kieslowski. He is known for his distinctive visual style and storytelling techniques that delve deep into the human psyche.

3. Are the films in The Decalogue interconnected?

Yes, The Decalogue is made up of ten individual stories, but they all share a thematic connection. Each film examines the moral dilemmas faced by its characters and explores the consequences of their actions.

4. What is the significance of The Decalogue?

The Decalogue is considered a landmark in world cinema. It explores profound moral and philosophical questions while showcasing Kieslowski’s mastery of storytelling and character development.

5. Where can I watch The Decalogue?

The Decalogue is widely available on various streaming platforms and DVD. You can check popular online platforms like Amazon Prime, Criterion Channel, or your local art house cinema for screenings or rentals.

6. Can I watch The Decalogue if I’m not religious?

Absolutely! While The Decalogue’s stories are rooted in the Ten Commandments, they transcend religious boundaries and explore universal themes of morality, choice, and human nature. The films can be appreciated from a philosophical and humanistic perspective.

7. Is The Decalogue suitable for all audiences?

The Decalogue deals with mature themes and contains some intense and emotionally charged scenes. Therefore, it may not be suitable for younger or more sensitive viewers. It is advisable to check the film’s rating and content warnings before watching.

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