Friday, September 4, 2015

"Trois Couleurs: Bleu" (1993)

Krysztof Kieslowski made the sort of movies that real film buffs are obligated to see. Even better, he wrestled with subjects like the Ten Commandments and metaphysical values. So, I had to get to him eventually.

In his last major project before he retired, a trilogy of films based the values represented in the French flag, he made cinematic poetry. But, like a lot of poetry it is subjective, hard work to consume.

In the first film Kieslowski looks at the idea of freedom. Can a person be truly free? The story—no let’s say the situation—revolves around a woman who losses her husband and daughter in a car accident which she survives. She can’t bring herself to end her own life, but in her numb depression and grief, she tries to break all the ties to her old life. That is the freedom Kieslowski—and we as a culture—have in mind. Can someone be completely disconnected from everyone and everything? Completely independent?

The problem is that Julie is surrounded by people. A whole society, community, with needs and things to offer.

A running theme throughout the film is a piece of music her composer husband was writing at the time of his death. It is a choral piece using the text of 1 Corinthians 13, although the film doesn’t make it easy to see that. The theme of love is the counterpoint to freedom in the film. We can never, and should never, be wholly independent. We are meant for each other, for community.

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