Three Colors

Trois couleurs: BleuThree Colors: Blue (1993) dir. Krzysztof Kieślowski
Trzy kolory: BiałyThree Colors: White (1994) dir. Krzysztof Kieślowski
Trois couleurs: RougeThree Colors: Red (1994) dir. Krzysztof Kieślowski

Kieślowski’s Three Colors trilogy is to be praised in addition to his Dekalog.  Although not the same level of artistic achievement, Three Colors is similar in many ways to the Dekalog – the stories intersect only slightly, and the ‘theme’ of each is jumping off point rather than a rigid didactism.

Bleu is freedom, liberty.  Juliette Binoche is suddenly freed from obligation and expectation.  But by isolating herself from the world and liberating herself from connection, has she also robbed herself from the ability to make meaningful choices?  Can she become free to live and love and, as comes with it, morn?

Blanc is equality.  It has the wonderful plot twists Kieślowski employed in Dekalog.  Karol’s wife leaves him due to his impotence, and that’s just the beginning of a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.  His search for justice and equality lead to behavior I won’t spoil for first-time viewers.  Is it a metaphor for the economics of post-Soviet states?

Rouge is fraternity.  Unusual relationships, but completely, utterly believable.  The complex story is told in only 99 minutes, but the pace never feels rushed or ushered along without time to breathe and think.  The ending – I think what I admire most about Kieślowski is the way he can take scenarios that would seem cheesy even on a daytime soap and make them work on even this level.

Blue is #513,  White is #843, and Red is #436 on the Top 1000 Films list I’m working on.  I’ve now seen 377.

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About Adam Call Roberts

I live and work in the beautiful Ozarks of Northwest Arkansas. I have a 2-year-old son who, right now, loves dinosaurs, dragons and showing off how fast he can run. I'm counting down through the list of 1,000 Greatest Films. Follow my journey here. I'm also a genealogy buff, and I blog about my family history.
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