Krzysztof Kieślowski (27 June 1941 – 13 March 1996) was a Polish film director and screenwriter. In 2002, Kieślowski was listed at number two on the British Film Institute‘s Sight & Sound list of the top ten film directors of modern times. In 2007, Total Film magazine ranked him at No. 47 on its “100 Greatest Film Directors Ever” list. Kieślowski remains one of Europe’s most influential directors, his works included in the study of film classes at universities throughout the world. The 1993 book Kieślowski on Kieślowski describes his life and work in his own words, based on interviews by Danusia Stok. He is also the subject of a biographical film, Krzysztof Kieślowski: I’m So-So (1995), directed by Krzysztof Wierzbicki.
“It comes from a deep-rooted conviction that if there is anything worthwhile doing for the sake of culture, then it is touching on subject matters and situations which link people, and not those that divide people. There are too many things in the world which divide people, such as religion, politics, history, and nationalism. If culture is capable of anything, then it is finding that which unites us all. And there are so many things which unite people. It doesn’t matter who you are or who I am, if your tooth aches or mine, it’s still the same pain. Feelings are what link people together, because the word ‘love’ has the same meaning for everybody. Or ‘fear’, or ‘suffering’. We all fear the same way and the same things. And we all love in the same way. That’s why I tell about these things, because in all other things I immediately find division.”
- Krzysztof Kieślowski
- The Double Life of Veronique is the first film that I saw of his, when it came out in 1991.
- Dekalog remains my favourite. 10 short films made for Polish television in 1989, very loosly based on the 10 commandments
- The Three Colours trilogy based on the three colours of the French flag:
“I am always reluctant to single out some particular feature of the work of a major filmmaker because it tends inevitably to simplify and reduce the work. But in this book of screenplays by Krzysztof Kieślowski and his co-author, Krzysztof Piesiewicz, it should not be out of place to observe that they have the very rare ability to dramatize their ideas rather than just talking about them. By making their points through the dramatic action of the story they gain the added power of allowing the audience to discover what’s really going on rather than being told. They do this with such dazzling skill, you never see the ideas coming and don’t realize until much later how profoundly they have reached your heart.”
- Stanley Kubrick