Saturday, February 27, 2016

789. Dekalog, Jeden

Dekalog, Jeden
The Decalogue 1
Directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski

I hope this information doesn't cause any of my followers to have an aneurysm, but I did not watch the entire series of The Decalogue.  Allow me a little background for those of you who have never heard of this.  The Decalogue is a ten episode mini series, each story having some connection to one of the commandments.  The Book lists "Dekalog Jeden" as the entry.  "Jeden" is Polish for one, so I think the Book refers to the pilot, not the entire series.  This is also supported by the running time it lists, which is 54 minutes (the entire series is roughly 572 minutes).  I seem to be one of the only list followers who takes this view, as other blogs I have found consider this to be the longest "film" in the Book.  I was open to the idea of watching the rest of the series if this episode grabbed me, but unfortunately, I was disappointed.

Krzysztof is a single parent, raising his son Pawel with the help of his sister Irene (or possibly his sister in law, I'm not sure). Krzysztof teaches Pawel son to think scientifically and seemingly does a good job, as Pawel is very intelligent.  Pawel is also really good at chess, which in movies translates as a genius.  Things...happen from there.  It is hard not to give away spoilers, as the episode is less than an hour.

It's pretty random that the book included this, as it hardly qualifies as a movie.  The 1001 Books people pulled this too by including A Modest Proposal with a thousand novels.  Those scamps.  Anyway, it was hardly brilliant; in fact, it was pretty upsetting (although I guess that doesn't really count as a valid criticism).  I suppose the boy was adorable and the premise of making a story for each commandment is interesting enough.  It reminds me of when my mother forced us to take Sunday school lessons and we each had to draw a commandment (I think I chose kill).  I am not sure which one this connects to; maybe honoring your father or having no other gods (i.e. the computer)?

Wow, I am really rambling a lot so I will try to wrap this up.  I am not quite certain what Kieslowski's message here was. Was it supposed to be some moral lesson?  I don't think the characters did anything wrong or need to be punished for their perceived sins.

I can't help thinking there must be a better Decalogue episode that the 1001 list makers could have recommended.  The rascals.

RATING: **---

Interesting Facts:

Budget of $10,000.


  1. MMMmmmm .. OK, I can see your point .. (I will happily take your word that 'Jeden' translates as 'one').. it certainly says this film is only 54 mins long .. But it goes on to talk about 'this collection', and talks about the different episodes.
    I'm not accusing you of cutting corners, but I really don't think that we are supposed to just see part one on it's own ..
    On iCM, in the '1001 MYMSBYD' list, it says its all of them .. You don't get a tick for any individual episode . (Although you do get ticks in other lists for the expanded versions of 'A short film about .. killing / love..'
    As you say .. it quite clearly states in the printed book 'Jeden, 54 mins' .. so I guess you are in the clear .. but I also reckon you have missed out on not seeing the whole lot. I'm going to put it down as a typo in the book.
    Sorry if this comes out as critical, it most certainly is not intended, .. perhaps put it down as 'I had to watch the entire lot, why shouldn't you' , - or as 'Ha, you missed out here!'
    Anyone else .. have you done all 10?

    1. I'm open to watching more episodes, as the concept seems interesting. Would you recommend a specific episode?

    2. I watched them all...but I get your point.

      My favorite episode was A Short Film About Love - Episode VI. I did this post on my blog in June 2015 and I wrote little pieces about each one and even rated each one individually. I also ranked them from best to worst, and here's what I came up with - 1 being the best, 10 being the worst.

      1. VI
      2. IX
      3. III
      4. IV
      5. X
      6. II
      7. V
      8. I
      9. VII
      10. VIII

    3. Ooo okay. I see 1 is low on the List for you too.

  2. Oh gosh, that is putting me on the spot.. I'm not sure if remember them all that well.. I'm afraid I'm going to say 'all of them'. Sorry! (Cop out answer? .. 'fraid so)