In five two-part screenings of two hours, every one entirely viewable independently of the others.
If you are familiar with the profound, gorgeous, ironic, brilliant work of Krzysztof Kieslowski, you have perhaps seen his staggering ultimate work, the Three Colors trilogy from the 1990s: Blue, White, and Red, all three made in France, as was his other equally justly famed late work, The Double Life of Véronique. But even Three Colors does not match the ambition and achievement of Kieslowski’s Dekalog, made in his native Poland a few years earlier. This is, quite simply, one of the cinema’s greatest achievements in visual storytelling, in 10 parts, each of which stand completely alone as a story and work of art, yet all of which interconnect in subtler thematic and other ways. Dekalog focuses on the residents of a housing complex whose lives become subtly intertwined as they face emotional dilemmas that are at once deeply personal and universally human. Its ten one-hour long films, drawing from the Ten Commandments for thematic inspiration and an overarching structure—but in ways most often ironic and subtle, so that it can be difficult to know which Commandment the director is basing a section on—grapple deftly with complex moral and existential questions concerning life, death, love, hate, truth, and the passage of time. Dekalog arrestingly explores the unknowable forces that shape our lives. It is a cinematic goldmine almost never seen on screen and not to be missed! Shown at MIFF in five sections of two one-hour films each, every one entirely viewable independently of the others.