|Three Colours: White|
|Directed by||Krzysztof Kieślowski|
|Produced by||Marin Karmitz|
|Edited by||Urszula Lesiak|
|Music by||Zbigniew Preisner|
|Box office||$1.4 million|
Three Colours: White (French : Trois couleurs: Blanc, Polish : Trzy kolory. Biały) is a 1994 comedy-drama film co-written, produced, and directed by Krzysztof Kieślowski. White is the second in the Three Colours trilogy, themed on the French Revolutionary ideals, following Blue and preceding Red . The film was selected as the Polish entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 67th Academy Awards, but was not accepted as a nominee.
White is about equality, with the film depicting Karol Karol, a shy man who, after being left by his wife in humiliating circumstances in Paris, loses his money, his residency, and his friends. As a deeply ashamed beggar in Paris, Karol begins his effort to restore equality to his life through revenge.
The film opens with a brief shot of a suitcase being transported on a conveyor belt, then shifts to a Paris divorce court where Karol Karol (Zbigniew Zamachowski), a Polish barber, is pleading with the judge – the same legal proceedings that Julie (Juliette Binoche) briefly stumbled upon in Blue . The immigrant Karol, through an interpreter, is made to understand that his wife Dominique (Julie Delpy) does not love him as he was unable to consummate the marriage. The divorce is granted, and Dominique proceeds to give Karol a suitcase with his possessions. Karol then loses access to his bank account, his passport, and ownership of a salon he and Dominique owned jointly. Karol breaks into the salon to sleep but is discovered by Dominique. The two first initiate sex, but Dominique stops and tells Karol that she no longer loves him. She then intentionally sets the salon drapes on fire, forcing Karol to flee and become a beggar.
While performing songs using a comb in a Paris Métro station, Karol meets a fellow Pole, Mikołaj (Janusz Gajos). While Karol has lost his wife and his property, Mikołaj is married and successful; he offers Karol a job – he would have to kill someone who wants to die but does not have enough courage to do it himself – but Karol rejects it. Karol proceeds to show Mikołaj his ex-wife from the street outside Dominique's window, but he sees the shadow of her with another man. Karol rushes back and calls her from a telephone booth at the station, only for Dominique to make him listen to her having sex, causing him to break down. Through a hazardous scheme, Mikołaj helps Karol return to Poland hidden in the suitcase shown at the beginning of the film, which is later stolen by employees at the airport. After discovering how poor he is, the airport employees beat him up and leave him in the Polish countryside. Karol manages to reach Warsaw and finds his brother Jurek (Jerzy Stuhr).
Karol soon returns to work at his brother's salon and later takes on another job as a bodyguard in a seemingly innocent cash exchange office. Using his position as a deceptively foolish bodyguard, Karol spies on his bosses and discovers their scheme to purchase different pieces of land that they know are going to be targeted by big companies for development and resell for large profits. Karol beats them to it and then tells his ex-bosses that if they kill him all his estate shall go to the church, forcing them to purchase the land from him instead. Karol then tracks down Mikołaj and asks for the job he offered to him previously. Mikołaj meets Karol in a Warsaw Metro tunnel for the execution of the "suicide", which turns out that Mikołaj is the intended victim and asks Karol to kill him. Karol first shoots a blank into Mikołaj's chest and asks him if he really wants to go through with it as the next bullet is real. Mikołaj changes his mind and thanks Karol for helping him feel alive again. He proceeds to pay Karol the money anyway, saying that he earned it.
Karol, with the money he has gained from his scheme and the payment from Mikołaj, goes into business (of a vaguely defined but possibly illegal nature) with him. Karol becomes ruthlessly ambitious, earning a fortune while improving his French and brooding over his wife's abandonment. One night, after waking up from a dream about Dominique, Karol calls her but she hangs up. Karol then devises a scheme to get revenge on Dominique. He first gives Dominique the majority of his fortune in his will, then, with the help of Mikoľaj and Jurek as well as his financial influences, fakes his own death and prepares to frame Dominique for it. On the day of his "burial", Karol sees Dominique mourning from afar. He then surprises her in her hotel room, apparently reconciling with her before making love together. In the morning, Karol leaves before Dominique wakes up. She is then awakened by local police, who arrest her on the suspicion that she murdered Karol to get his money.
Sometime later, Karol visits the prison complex where Dominique is held and sees her through her cell window. She gestures to him that she wants to remarry him, and Karol begins to cry.
The final scene of Dominique standing behind bars of her prison cell was shot months after the rest of the film, and was intended to soften Dominique's image; Kieślowski has said that he was dissatisfied with the ending shot previously and wanted her to seem less of a monster.
The film has been interpreted as an anti-comedy by Roger Ebert, in parallel with Blue being an anti-tragedy and Red being an anti-romance.
Three Colours: White was met with critical acclaim; it holds an 87% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with an average rating of 7.4/10, based on 46 reviews. The consensus reads: "Taking a lighter tone than the other films of the Three Colors trilogy, White is a witty, bittersweet comedy with heavier themes on its mind than one might at first realize."
Kieślowski won the Silver Bear for Best Director at the 44th Berlin International Film Festival in 1994.
Three Colours: Blue is a 1993 drama film directed and co-written by Polish filmmaker Krzysztof Kieślowski. Blue is the first of three films that comprise the Three Colours trilogy, themed on the French Revolutionary ideals of liberty, equality, and fraternity; it is followed by White and Red. According to Kieślowski, the subject of the film is liberty, specifically emotional liberty, rather than its social or political meaning.
Krzysztof Kieślowski was a Polish film director and screenwriter. He is known internationally for Dekalog (1989), The Double Life of Veronique (1991), and the Three Colours trilogy (1993 –1994). Kieślowski received numerous awards during his career, including the Cannes Film Festival Jury Prize (1988), FIPRESCI Prize, and Prize of the Ecumenical Jury (1991); the Venice Film Festival FIPRESCI Prize (1989), Golden Lion (1993), and OCIC Award (1993); and the Berlin International Film Festival Silver Bear (1994). In 1995, he received Academy Award nominations for Best Director and Best Writing.
Zbigniew Preisner is a Polish film score composer, best known for his work with film director Krzysztof Kieślowski. He is the recipient of the Gold Medal for Merit to Culture – Gloria Artis as well as the Knight's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta. He is a member of the French Film Academy.
Julie Delpy is a French-American actress, film director, screenwriter, and singer-songwriter. She studied filmmaking at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and has directed, written, and acted in more than 30 films, including Europa Europa (1990), Voyager (1991), Three Colors: White (1993), the Before trilogy, An American Werewolf in Paris (1997), and 2 Days in Paris (2007).
Janusz Gajos is a Polish film, television and theatre actor as well as pedagogue and photographer. Professor of Theatre Arts and an Honorary Doctor of the National Film School in Łódź, he is considered one of the greatest Polish actors.
Dekalog is a 1988 Polish drama television miniseries directed by Krzysztof Kieślowski and co-written by Kieślowski with Krzysztof Piesiewicz, with music by Zbigniew Preisner. It consists of ten one-hour films, inspired by the decalogue of the Ten Commandments. Each short film explores characters facing one or several moral or ethical dilemmas as they live in an austere housing project in 1980s Poland.
The Three Colours trilogy is the collective title of three psychological drama films directed by Krzysztof Kieślowski: Three Colours: Blue (1993), Three Colours: White (1994), and Three Colours: Red (1994). The trilogy was a co-production between France, Poland and Switzerland, in French language, with the exception of White in Polish and French. All three films were co-written by Kieślowski and Krzysztof Piesiewicz, produced by Marin Karmitz and composed by Zbigniew Preisner.
The Double Life of Veronique is a 1991 drama film directed by Krzysztof Kieślowski and starring Irène Jacob. Written by Kieślowski and Krzysztof Piesiewicz, the film explores the themes of identity, love, and human intuition through the characters of Weronika, a Polish choir soprano, and her double, Véronique, a French music teacher. The two women do not know each other, and yet they share a mysterious and emotional bond that transcends language and geography.
A Short Film About Love is a 1988 Polish romantic drama film directed by Krzysztof Kieślowski and starring Grażyna Szapołowska and Olaf Lubaszenko. Written by Krzysztof Kieślowski and Krzysztof Piesiewicz, the film is about a young post office worker deeply in love with a promiscuous older woman who lives in an adjacent apartment building.
Jerzy Oskar Stuhr is a Polish film and theatre actor. He is one of the most popular, influential and versatile Polish actors. He also works as a screenwriter, film director and drama professor. He served as the Rector of the Ludwik Solski Academy for the Dramatic Arts in Kraków for two terms: from 1990 to 1996 and again from 2002 to 2008.
Zbigniew Zamachowski is a Polish actor.
Camera Buff is a 1979 Polish drama film written and directed by Krzysztof Kieślowski and starring Jerzy Stuhr. The film is about a humble factory worker whose newfound hobby, amateur film, becomes an obsession, and transforms his modest and formerly contented life. Camera Buff won the Polish Film Festival Golden Lion Award and the FIPRESCI Prize and Golden Prize at the 11th Moscow International Film Festival, and the Berlin International Film Festival Otto Dibelius Film Award in 1980.
Blind Chance is a Polish film written and directed by Krzysztof Kieślowski and starring Bogusław Linda. The film presents three separate storylines, told in succession, about a man running after a train and how such an ordinary incident could influence the rest of the man's life. Originally completed in 1981, Blind Chance was suppressed by the Polish authorities for several years until its delayed release in Poland on 10 January 1987 in a censored form.
With the fall of communism Polish culture and society began a process of profound transformation, marked by the return of democracy and redevelopment of civil society. After 1989, the heavy government controls ended, and the radical economic changes were introduced. The influx of new aesthetic and social ideas was accompanied by the Western market forces. However, unlike any other temporal marker in the development of Polish culture from the past, the year 1989 did not introduce any specific literary events or artistic manifestations. For a generation of accomplished writers the objectives and their moral quests remained the same as in the preceding period. The first decade of freedom brought mainly state reforms in the financing of cultural institutions and patronage; forcing self-sustainability in an often uncharted territory. Literature, film, visual arts, theater and mass media remained focused on their active participation in public life.
Love Stories is a 1997 Polish film about four men with unresolved romances. Jerzy Stuhr plays all four characters and wrote and directed the film. The film is dedicated to Krzysztof Kieślowski, who gave Stuhr important roles in his films. The film was selected as the Polish entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 70th Academy Awards, but was not accepted as a nominee.
No End is a 1985 film directed by Krzysztof Kieślowski and starring Grażyna Szapołowska, Maria Pakulnis, and Aleksander Bardini. The film is about the state of martial law in Poland after the banning of the trade union Solidarity in 1981. Kieślowski worked with several regular collaborators for the first time on No End.
Three Colours: Red is a 1994 romantic mystery film co-written, produced and directed by Polish filmmaker Krzysztof Kieślowski. It is the final installment of the Three Colours trilogy, which examines the French Revolutionary ideals; it is preceded by Blue and White. Kieślowski had announced that this would be his final film, which proved true with the director's sudden death in 1996. Red is about fraternity, which it examines by showing characters whose lives gradually become closely interconnected, with bonds forming between two characters who appear to have little in common.
The Big Animal is a 2000 Polish film directed by Jerzy Stuhr from a screenplay by Krzysztof Kieślowski, based on a short story Wielbłąd (1995) by Kazimierz Orłoś.
The Calm is a film by Polish director Krzysztof Kieślowski made in 1976 but not exhibited until broadcast on Polish television in 1980. It starred Jerzy Stuhr, Izabella Olszewska, and Jerzy Trela. Based on a story by Lech Borski and a screenplay by Kieślowski and Jerzy Stuhr, the film is about a young man who leaves prison after a three-year sentence seeking to start a new life. His dreams of a better life are broken, however, when he is forced into a conflict between a corrupt construction company boss and his fellow workers who go on strike. The Calm was filmed on location in Kraków and completed in 1976, but was banned by the state because of its subject matter—strikes were illegal in Poland during that time. The film was finally shown on Polish television for the first time on 19 September 1980. In 1981, The Calm received the Polish Film Festival Special Jury Prize.
Aftermath is a 2012 Polish film written and directed by Władysław Pasikowski. The fictional Holocaust-related thriller and drama is inspired by the July 1941 Jedwabne pogrom in occupied north-eastern Poland during Operation Barbarossa, in which 340 Polish Jews were locked in a barn in Jedwabne, which was later set on fire by a group of Polish males.