Dekalog ★★★★★

Ten commandments. 10 episodes. 10 hours. When it first aired on Polish television in 1989, decades before long-form filmmaking would come to be regarded as the last bastion of auteurism, Krzysztof Kieślowski’s “Dekalog” was one of the most immense undertakings the cinema had ever seen. There had been longer works, and more lavishly financed ones — even when accounting for inflation, “Dekalog” would qualify as a micro-budget project — but the existential girth of Kieślowski’s magnum opus immediately made it feel like a monolith among molehills.

Even in the age of Netflix and “The Knick,” when directors are often responsible for delivering 600 minutes of footage at a time, Kieślowski’s epic still towers above the rest, and still seems somehow fuller than any of the similarly ambitious projects that have sprung up in its wake. It may not be the tallest building on the block, but — crammed with sex, death, love, murder, regret, reprisals, and enough moral fiber to earn the Vatican’s highest endorsement in spite of its many iniquities — it’s almost certainly the one most dense with life.

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