Three Colours: White

Last June I watched what would become one of my favourite films of all time, Three Colours: Blue (Trois Couleurs: Bleu). This week I’ve watched the second movie in the Three Colours trilogy, Three Colours: White (Trois Couleurs: Blanc) and it has, not surprisingly, become another of my favourites.
The Three Colours trilogy is Krzysztof Kieslowski’s look at the three colours of the French flag, blue, white and red and the respective themes they represent, liberty, equality and fraternity. Though linked in many ways, they films are separate narratives, each with a distinct personality and direction. As the director’s final and, arguably, greatest work, they stand as three of the most influential and artistically important films of the 1990’s.
White is a black comedy and a love story, though not typical of either genre. The plot follows a Polish man, Karol Karol, through a divorce caused by an impotence he developed in France, through his flawed, eye-for-an-eye plans to gain a sense of revenge, and thus equality, with his ex-wife, who he still loves and who, evidently, still loves him. The film looks also at Europe in the recovery from the cold war, the transition from communism to capitalism (and the inequality of both) and human nature in general. The story holds subtle sense of humour and protrays a love gnarled with hurt, two aspects of the storytelling that make this film so facinating and truly unique.
Kieslowski’s attention to detail and deployment of symbolism is second to none. This film is filled with rich and vital symbolism that engaged me emotionally and intellectually in a way most films can not manage to. There were so many layers that even with multiple viewings I’m still discovering new aspects to appreciate.
The Three Colours trilogy has taken its place among the classics of cinema and for good reason. White is a strong film in its own right and when placed in context is even more meaningful and enjoyable to watch. This film’s going on my list of movies to recommend to everyone.

1 comment on “Three Colours: White

  1. I have ALWAYS wanted to watch these movies. They just look and sound so interesting and beautiful. It's one of those “keep meaning to” things. I keep meaning to buy the DVD but never seem to get around to me. I really must!

    Best Wishes

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