Film 233 in the “1001 Films to See Before You Die” challenge is 1989’s “The Decalogue”. This Krysztof Kielowski Polish drama is a collection of ten one-hour short films with each film looking at one of The Ten Commandments and set in an apartment in Warsaw, Poland. To save time, I am only watching one of these films, the last episode/film, which I think is based on the commandment ‘You shall not covet’. Well.. I think it’s about The Ten Commandments as I spent most of this trying to figure out why this guy in the film needs to keep up to 500,000 stamps locked away. Did he steal them? Is stamp collecting illegal in Poland? Also, this is the first film I’ve seen that managed to piss me off within one minute of viewing it. It opens at a concert where the lead singer sings these lyrics, “Kill! Kill! Kill! Commit adultery, Covet things all the week, And on Sunday beat up your mother, your father, your sister, And beat up the young one and steal, Because everything belongs to you”. If I hadn’t looked up the plot before viewing this, I would have thought this guy was about to convince everyone at this concert to beat up everyone in your family including newborn babies. Overall, this was a complete mess to watch. Is it about The Ten Commandments or is it about stamps? I guess I’ll never know and I don’t care. In 2000, Stephen Holden from The New York Times had this to say about “The Decalogue”, ‘A masterwork of modern cinema, essential viewing for anyone who cares about the movies as a serious art form’. So… Is this a arthouse film? I really am confused now. Fun Fact of the Film – Kielowski was made a ‘Fellow’ of the British Film Institute in 1990 for his contribution to film culture. If you have seen any of these episodes/films from this series then let me know what you thought of them in the comments. Here is what I had to say while watching the last of 1989’s “The Decalogue”.
Year – 1989
Director – Krysztof Kielowski
Written by – Krysztof Kielowski, Krysztof Piesiewicz
Staring – Artur Barcis, Olgierd Lukaszewicz, Olaf Lubaszenko
IMDb Rating – 9.2/10
My Rating – No rating
Length – 572 min (9h 52min)
Genre – Drama
We open this film at a concert
Seriously… This is the lyrics to this song (SEE NEXT 5 LINES)
“Kill! Kill! Kill! Commit adultery,
Covet things all the week,
And on Sunday beat up your mother, your father, your sister
And beat up the young one and steal
Because everything belongs to you”
Already getting off on a bad foot
Back home and someone clearly hasn’t cleanted that fish tank
Oh… The fish are dead
I know it’s a funeral but I have to play my music at all times
That is a very thin coffin
Damn! So many keys!
So… Alarms make you burst into song?!
Why does he have a steel front door and why has he nailed the windows shut?
All this security to protect documents?!?
And a bunch of medals?!
Who uses a magnefying glass to look at their watch?
Wait… Are they brothers?
Wait… All those padlocks and security devises to protect 400,000 stamps? Did he steal them? This film hasn’t told me
Also, the younger brother looks like the guitarist from System of a Down
Bromski arrives and gives the older brother 220,000 stamps
How to stereotype Eastern Europeans in film – They all drink vodka
I am really confused
I just heard the word ‘Cereal’ and now I want Frosties
Old Brother sees his wife who doesn’t want to talk to him
AND I’M DONE