Having rented the Krzysztof Kieslowski's Dekalog a few years ago I decided to pick up a copy and revisit them. If you don't know the series, Kieslowski and his writing partner Krzysztof Piesiewicz created a ten part television mini-series inspired by each of the ten commandments. What is astounding about the series is how it subtly explores the difficulties and complexities of human behaviour and morality. As simple as the commandments seem on paper, Kieslowski and Piesiewicz manage to delve into the grey areas and challenge our ideology of absolute morality. Life is difficult and the answers aren't always clear cut in simple rules.

Stanley Kubrick is said to have stated that the "Dekalog" was the only film masterpiece that he'd seen in his lifetime. After showing "Red", "White" and "Blue", one of my astute students suggested that Kubrick was heavily influenced by Kieslowski for his final film "Eyes Wide Shut" (an interesting proposition that I would love to see explored).

I highly recommend this series to all but particularly to film writers. Kieslowski's work is firmly planted in strong themes and ideas. I'll leave you with Stanley Kubrick's forward to the published screenplays of 'The Dekalog':

I am always reluctant to single out some particular feature of the work of a major filmmaker because it tends inevitably to simplify and reduce the work. But in this book of screenplays by Krzysztof Kieslowski and his co-author, Krzysztof Piesiewicz, it should not be out of place to observe that they have the very rare ability to dramatize their ideas rather than just talking about them. By making their points through the dramatic action of the story they gain the added power of allowing the audience to discover what's really going on rather than being told. They do this with such dazzling skill, you never see the ideas coming and don't realize until much later how profoundly they have reached your heart.

Stanley Kubrick
January 1991