Film Review: Three Colours White / Trois Couleurs Blanc [dir. Krzysztof Kieslowski; 1994]

When it was released in the mid-90s, White was dimissed as the weakest chapter of Kieslowski’s trilogy. Although I’ve always been very fond of it, I concede that much of its impact is lost in translation, not least because of its tone-deaf English subtitles. However, recent socio-economic events have been kind to this sardonic essay on the pros and cons of equality. In the 90s, Poland was desperate to emulate its western neighbours with a fervour that many Europeans found difficult to comprehend. Now, the imminent collapse of the EU and the rising importance of India, China et al make it somewhat easier to appreciate how much greener the grass can be on the other side of the political fence. With characteristic finesse, Kieslowski weaves these ideas into a tale about a hapless Polish hairdresser who is so stung by the way his French ex-wife treats him, he’ll stop at nothing to get his revenge. A masterpiece of black comedy, with a superb score from Zbigniew Preisner.

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