Tuesday, 6 April 2010
This is billed as one of Kieslowski's best films. I would beg to differ. The first 60 minutes is hard to keep up with. No doubt to a Polish speaker it is resonant with nuances and subtleties from the oppressive communist era and the growing movement for democratic freedom. The subtitles are sparse and it it is evident that far more is being said than is being shown in the subtitles.
Witek is a medical student. The first 30 minutes of the film establish his family set-up and the context. Witek decides to take a break from his studies because the vocation is no longer there. We then see him running for a train which he just manges to catch. He goes on to become a member of The Party and that story plays out that outcome. On the hour mark, we see him running for the same train and a guard stops him as he hurtles down the platform in pursuit of the departing train. The ensuing skirmish results in the Police being called and Witek is found guilty of his crime. This pushes him into contact with underground political opposition and an opposite story is told to the first one. After another 30 minutes we are back to the station and Witek runs after the train but fails to catch it. On the platform is a fellow medical student who was waiting for him. They develop a relationship, marry, and Witek resumes his studies and becomes a successful research Doctor.
One story - three outcomes.
An interesting film, but hard work. Not as good as Trois Couleurs, or Heaven, or Hell .....
I'll give it 6/10.