Tuesday, September 8, 2015
"Troi Couleurs: Blanc" (1994)
Over the course of the film, our protagonist moves back to Poland, gets involved in the mob, becomes rich, learns French, and then… fakes his death. His plan is to leave everything to his ex-wife and then frame her for his murder. The film ends with her in jail. It is an insane, irrational, revenge story.
That there may be the point Kieslowski is getting at. In the imperfect, sinful world we live in, true equality would be for everyone to be terrible to each other. The last film argued that true freedom is undesirable because we need each other. Love countermands freedom as the world promotes it. It is much the same here. Romantic love in this film is vicious and hurtful. People are terrible to each other, so equality is harsh.
There is a parallel scene in this trilogy, where an elderly or homeless person struggles to put a bottle into a recycling receptacle. In each film the protagonist’s reaction to that action is important. In “Bleu” Julie doesn’t even see the old woman struggle. Her “freedom” is a complete disconnect. Here in “Blanc” the character cruelly delights in the homeless man’s struggle. Once again, real love is the counterpoint to equality. A better approach in life would be to NOT pursue a level playing field. We do not want everyone to be equally ruthless with each other, demanding that their needs be met. Instead, the better path would be for everyone to seek others’ benefit. Unfortunately, the way this film seems to argue that point—from silence or by an absence—is less effective.