Krzysztof Kieslowski

Krzysztof Kieslowski – Szpital AKA Hospital (1977)

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In 1976 Kieslowski produced Hospital, the 1977 winner of the Festival of Short
Films in Krakow. The film deals with Warsaw orthopaedic surgeons who are portrayed working long, 32-hour shifts. The camera follows them in the operating theatre, admittance room and smoky offices. They are portrayed as struggling with faulty equipment and overcoming fatigue. The film focuses on everyday hospital situations without any voice-over comments, with the passage of time carefully indicated every hour. The surgeons are portrayed as skilled workers in this, to use Kieslowski’s words, ‘film about some brotherhood’.
– Marek Haltof, The Cinema of Krzysztof Kieslowski – Variations on Destiny and Chance, 2006 Read More »

Krzysztof Kieslowski & Tomasz Zygadlo – Robotnicy 1971 – Nic o nas bez nas AKA Workers ’71: Nothing About Us Without Us (1971)

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“We tried to draw a broad picture showing that the class which, theoretically at least, was said to be the ruling class, had somewhat different views from those which were printed on the front page of the Trybuna Ludu.”
— Krzysztof Kieslowski Read More »

Krzysztof Kieslowski – Trois couleurs: Blanc AKA Three Colors: White (1994)

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The most playful and also the grittiest of Kieślowski’s Three Colors films follows the adventures of Karol Karol (Zbigniew Zamachowski), a Polish immigrant living in France. The hapless hairdresser opts to leave Paris for his native Warsaw when his wife (Julie Delpy) sues him for divorce (her reason: their marriage was never consummated) and then frames him for arson after setting her own salon ablaze. White, which goes on to chronicle Karol Karol’s elaborate revenge plot, manages to be both a ticklish dark comedy about the economic inequalities of Eastern and Western Europe and a sublime reverie about twisted love. Read More »

Krzysztof Kieslowski – Trois couleurs: Bleu AKA Three Colors: Blue (1993)

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In the devastating first film of the Three Colors trilogy, Juliette Binoche gives a tour de force performance as Julie, a woman reeling from the tragic death of her husband and young daughter. But Blue is more than just a blistering study of grief; it’s also a tale of liberation, as Julie attempts to free herself from the past while confronting truths about the life of her late husband, a composer. Shot in sapphire tones by Sławomir Idziak, and set to an extraordinary operatic score by Zbigniew Preisner, Blue is an overwhelming sensory experience. Read More »

Krzysztof Kieslowski – Trois couleurs: Rouge AKA Three Colors: Red (1994)

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Krzysztof Kieślowski closes his Three Colors trilogy in grand fashion, with an incandescent meditation on fate and chance, starring Irène Jacob as a sweet-souled yet somber runway model in Geneva whose life dramatically intersects with that of a bitter retired judge, played by Jean‑Louis Trintignant. Meanwhile, just down the street, a seemingly unrelated story of jealousy and betrayal unfolds. Red is an intimate look at forged connections and a splendid final statement from a remarkable filmmaker at the height of his powers. Read More »

Krzysztof Kieslowski – Bez konca AKA No End (1985)

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Set during Martial Law in Poland and centers on the young widow of an attorney who defended activists during political trials. The woman finds herself unable to deal with her husband’s death. The spirit of the departed intervenes in her life and the widow constantly feels this presence. Her longing for her deceased husband ultimately leads her to commit suicide. The storyline of the heroine’s personal experiences is intertwined with that centering on the political trial of a young worker. In the film, Kieślowski offers a series of reflections on the political stance of society and the professional ethics of lawyers. Read More »

Krzysztof Kieslowski – Blizna AKA The Scar (1976)

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Films made under the state socialist regimes of Eastern Europe in the mid-twentieth century tend to fall roughly into two categories: the rigidly institutional and the scathingly anti-establishment. These films either serve to trumpet the cause of Communism or else find ways to avoid or subvert its conventions. The early films of Krzysztof Kieslowski present a slightly different alternative. On the one hand, these films duck the scrutiny of government censors with minute, incisive portraits of the system’s failings; but on the other, they tend to humanize and complicate the causes of these failings. Rather than make the system seem a corrupt, faceless entity, Kieslowski’s early films present a collection of individuals whose personal problems and shortcomings compose this system and thereby bring about its failure. Read More »