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Krzysztof Kieslowski: Three Colors

MUBI Special

Described as one of the most important auteurs of the 21st century, Krzysztof Kieslowski is often likened to figures such as Ingmar Bergman or Andrei Tarkovsky. His transcendental and existentialist films seem to decipher the mysteries of the human condition, through closely and attentively investigating the behaviours and actions of everyday characters. Named after the three colours of the French flag, and inspired by the three universal values of the country’s motto–freedom, equality and fraternity–this cryptic trilogy was nonetheless a success in the independent film sector, and has become a source of admiration and inspiration for cinephiles around the world. We are thus delighted to show these three modern classics, to be (re)discovered, and interpreted at will.

Speaking of the three French concepts on which the films are based, Kieslowski stated:

“They’re impossible to attain from the point of view of individuals. Politically, perhaps – apart from equality, of course. You can say, I want to be free, but how do you free yourself from your own feelings, your own memories, your own desires? Perhaps we can’t function without them – which automatically means we aren’t free, we’re prisoners of our own emotions.”

Three Colors: Red

Krzysztof Kieślowski France, 1994

Krzysztof Kieślowski closes his Three Colors trilogy in grand fashion with this unconventional romance, a story of fate and chance in an interconnected society. A modern classic, an Academy Award nominee for Director and Screenplay, and arguably the great Polish director’s masterpiece.

Three Colors: White

Krzysztof Kieślowski France, 1994

The second (and most underrated) part of Krzysztof Kieślowski’s Three Colors trilogy is a film that defies categorization, alternately gritty, funny, dark, and farcical. A truly unique take on twisted love, and a satire of the divide between Eastern and Western Europe.

Three Colors: Blue

Krzysztof Kieślowski France, 1993

The Three Colors trilogy was an arthouse staple in the 1990s, and the films hold up 20 years later as complex, emotionally resonant, and visually beguiling tales of contemporary Europe. The first part, Blue, is a story of death and rebirth, with a tour-de-force performance by Juliette Binoche.

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