Krzystof Kieslowski

In 1989, the Communist rule that had dominated Eastern Europe since the end of the Second World War collapsed with astonishing rapidity. In a remarkable burst of creative and artistic energy from 1988 to 1998, Polish and French cinema came together as the legendary Polish director Kieslowski directed fourteen films, a feat for which there are few parallels in the history of the cinema. Kieslowski in this period went from being a well-respected filmmaker within his own country to being one of the all time greats of world cinema, now being listed with the same recognition as other legendary film directors like Bergman, Ozu, Bunuel, Fellini, Ford, Bresson and Chaplin. Kieslowski had made most of his early work in Poland during the Cold War, which includes his masterful 10 one-hour Television series The Decalogue (1989), which are ten separate stories loosely based on the ten commandments. In 1991 he directed The Double Life of Veronique, which is a beautifully shot parable on the mysterious nature of identity, love, doppelgangers, freewill and human intuition. Kieslowski than created one of the greatest, if not, the greatest film trilogy in the world with The Three Color trilogy (1993-1994). The Three Color Trilogy itself almost defies belief, as it was written, shot, and edited in less than three years, screening in succession at Venice, Berlin and Cannes, so that for one year, Kieslowski completely dominated art-cinema as no one ever had, or likely ever will again. The Three Color trilogy corresponds to the three hues of the French tricolor, and also to the French national principles of liberty, equality, and fraternity. Blue, the first film of the trilogy is generally said to be an anti-tragedy, just as White is anti-comedy and Red is an anti-romance. Shortly after Three Colors: Red Kieslowski’s announced his retirement, tragically dying of heart failure in 1996 at the young age of 54. With just a short span of films, Kieslowski has created some of the most spiritual and life affirming films in the world, often dealing with such existential and transcending themes as illness, death, fate, grief, loss and morality. Before Kieslowski’s death he did infact begin a new project with his co-scriptwriter Krzyztof Piesiewicz, which was a trilogy on the subject of heaven, hell, and purgatory. Despite dabbling in what many look at to be spiritual, metaphysical, existential and philosophical themes, symbols and analogies, Kieslowski remained an Agnostic to the end. Kieslowski had a humanism to his films, as his belief that people in different times and places can have the same thoughts and live out the same stories, ultimately leading to an assertion that shared experiences and freewill is a basic fact of human co-existence. There is no substitute for Kieslowski, as cinema to him was limitless with possibilities with him stating, “to capture what lies within us, but there’s no way of filming it. You can only get nearer to it.”

Krzystof Kieslowski
Krzystof Kieslowski Featured Films
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Articles and Essays on Krzystof Kieslowski

Double Life of Véronique, The (1991)

Polish director Krzysztof Kieslowski’s The Double Life of Veronique is a mesmerizing and poetic film experience which expresses such transcendent feelings as intuition, identity, fate and free-will. Are we alone in this universe, or is there more than one of us? We have no rational understanding of this, it is simply a feeling that we have, perhaps physical or metaphysical, as […]


Three Colors: Red (1994)

The legendary director Krzysztof Kieslowski said he did not care about the cinema, only about audiences and the ways in which films could utterly move them. Three Colors: Red unfortunately was his last film, and yet it couldn’t be a more beautiful and farewell parting gift. Krzysztof Kieslowski’s The Three Color trilogy corresponds to the three hues of the […]


Three Colors: White (1994)

“The day I can buy toilet paper in a Polish store, I’ll discuss politics,” Polish director Krzysztof Kieslowski once stated in an interview in 1989, a little more than two months before the fall of the Berlin Wall. Maybe Kieslowski held off on his political thoughts because he became sly when subtly presenting them when shooting his sardonic […]


Three Colors: Blue (1993)

Film lovers can embrace Blue as simply a stand alone film, or consider it as Three Colors: Blue, which is merely a first part of a monumental trilogy. Krzysztof Kieslowski’s The Three Color trilogy corresponds to the three hues of the French tricolor, and also to the French national principles of liberty, equality, and fraternity. […]