...engaging and discerning culture, as a way of life...

July 01, 2007

Blind Chance - 6

Written and directed by Polish film icon Krzysztof Kieslowski (Blue, White, Red, Heaven, The Decalogue: I-III, IV-VII, VIII-X), this film is a earlier and more intelligent version of Sliding Doors. Comparing it to Sliding Doors is an insult to Kieslowski intelligence, but in a similar way this film takes place three times, each starting with Witek, a medical student in a crisis of vocation, running after a train. Each of the episodes has a different outcome, once working with the communist government, once resisting the government and working with others underground, and finally taking a neutral and indifferent stance toward the government as it is convenient for his career. Kieslowski's goal here is to show the influence of events on one's life. Rather than make a case for choice, Kieslowski shows how "the world" (government/society/culture) has already won determining the course of things. And yet, there are choices along the way. Kieslowski leaves it open as to how this dialectic works. In the end offering up a rather tragic vision of life.


Anonymous said...

Still haven't seen this one. Should get to over the weekend, though, and I'll be back with comments.

Indeterminacy said...

I love Kieslowski's films, but haven't heard of this one. Thanks for mentioning it here.

Anonymous said...

I don't know, I really wasn't feeling this one by Kieslowski. To critize it in terms of expressing the outward forces at work rather than the inward ones miss the point, since Kieslowski has always been insistent on the role that chance and circumstance plays in his films. Instead, I'll rely on the self-deprecating belief that I know so little about Polish politics that I labored to understand when he sought to critize either the individual or the external forces in society.

That said, it's customarily well shot and acted, but the form of threes just didn't excite me all that much, nor did the central character, even though I'm aware that that's sort of the point. So a 5.5/10 for me.

I do recommend the Double Life of Veronique, though. Beautiful and layered, but more intriguing to me.