Monday, 30 March 2015


“The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.” - Albert Camus

The Polish director Krzysztof Kieslowski has quite a few films in his portfolio, but the worldwide success he deserves came in the mid-nineties with his trilogy “Three Colours”. It is not surprising that he chose the three colours on France’s flag, blue, white and red and the country’s national motto of “Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity” with which to construct his trilogy, as Poles have had a special bond with France for quite some time.

Last weekend I watched again Kieslowski’s 1993 film Three Colours: Blue,which I consider to be the best of the trilogy. As I expected, I enjoyed it as much as I did the first time I had watched it when it was first released. “Blue” concerns itself with the life of Julie, the wife of a famous and successful composer, who survives him and her young daughter, both of whom are killed in the car accident that begins the film.  The film is very much a study of Julie’s character and how she copes with her manifold losses.

If you have not watched it, I will not spoil for you, but suffice to say that it concerns itself with the theme of “liberty” on a personal level. Julie has been so scarred by her loss that she becomes an emotional cripple, chained to the past simply because she will not acknowledge it. Her grief is so immense that she chooses to black it out, ignore it and live a life free of emotional involvements, free of love, friendship, commitment. The theme of freedom is turned in on itself when Julie discovers that her strategy is failing and she has to redefine her life and her concept of “liberty” according to new parameters, as life intrudes into her self-imposed emotional isolation.

Juliet Binoche delivers a tour de force of acting brilliance in this film, and her dazzling depiction of grief in all of its manifestations is quite an amazing achievement. Her suffering through most of the film is linked of course to the loss of her family, but also she evinces from the role the nagging survivor’s guilt.

Cinematographer Sławomir Idziak’s camera captures images of peerless beauty in this movie and frame by frame, a complex painting is constructed, like the artist’s canvas is completed by brushstroke upon brushstroke. The musical score of the film composed by Zbigniew Preisner is magnificent and complements the images admirably. As a composer of music myself, I found the process of musical composition portrayed in the film accurate and illuminating for myself also!

If you have not seen this film, I strongly recommend it. It is slow-paced, confronting, disturbing, challenging, but also very rewarding.

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