Set in a Warsaw apartment complex, Kieslowski's ten-part masterpiece is an absorbing meditation on the Ten Commandments, with each hour-long segment corresponding to a specific Mosaic law: In one chapter, a man's faith in reason is challenged by the death of his son; in another, a 20-year-old woman is emotionally transformed when she learns her dad is not her biological father; and in a third, a teenage Peeping Tom has an affair with the older woman he's been spying on.
Scripted for Polish television by Kieslowski and co-writer Krzysztof Piesiewicz,"The Decalogue" is a remarkable tour de force that puts to shame most any American miniseries. With characters overlapping in subtle ways, there's a consistency to the action, too, that points to Kieslowski's masterful skill as a scenarist. But the real genius of this enthralling film is the way he wrestles with the Western world's oldest, most fundamental ethical code — as well as the big questions of life — in stories that touch on love, death, murder, jealousy, and adultery. Beautiful to watch, fascinating to contemplate, "Decalogue" is worth devoting a few evenings to. You'll be hooked!