• Directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski
  • Starring Irène Jacob, Juliette Binoche, Zbigniew Zamachowski
  • 1993-1994 | 296mins | France, Poland, Switzerland | (15)



Krzysztof Kieślowski's award-winning trilogy explores the French Revolutionary ideals of freedom, equality and brotherhood, and their relevance to the contemporary world. It is a snapshot of European life at a time of reconstruction after the Cold War, reflected through the filmmaker's moralist view of human nature and illuminated by each title's palette colour.





‘Three Colours Blue’ was an immediate success, winning the top prizes at the 1993 Venice Film Festival and unanimous praise from critics and audiences the world over. Julie (Juliette Binoche) loses her composer husband and their child in a car crash and, though devastated, she tries to make a new start, away from her country house and a would-be lover. But music still surrounds her and she uncovers some unpleasant facts about her husband’s life.


Slowly Julie learns to live again, as music and the gift of creativity prove to be a healing force.‘Three Colours Blue’ is the first part of Kieslowski’s trilogy on France’s national motto: Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity.




Following ‘Blue’, ‘White’ is the second instalment of Kieslowski’s ‘Three Colours’ Trilogy of the French revolutionary ideals of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity.


‘White’ stands for equality (and much else besides) in a droll tale of fortune reversed for which Kieslowski won Berlin’s Best Director award. ‘Three Colours White’ begins in Paris where Polish hairdresser Karol is really down on his luck: impotent, penniless, divorced by his glamorous wife. A lugubrious compatriot offers an unusual job and a means of returning home and Karol receives a rude introduction to the new Poland, where everything can be bought and sold. He swims with the tide, determines to become ‘more equal’ than others and plots his own form of revenge.




Kieslowski completes his Three Colours Trilogy and indeed his career, with a tale of parallel lives and interwoven destinies, and draws connecting threads with the two previous films. Valentine, a Swiss model, runs over a dog belonging to a retired judge. She discovers that he uses his amateur radio equipment to eavesdrop on his neighbours’ phone conversations. He urges Valentine to denounce him if her conscience commands.


Meanwhile, a young lawyer studying for his final exams is unaware that his girlfriend, a weather forecaster, is unfaithful. The student and Valentine live in the same suburban street and pass each other daily but have never met. Their paths cross and re-cross in a weft of portent, coincidence and unrecognised sign. Red encompasses fraternity.


Superbly acted, photographed and scored, it is the most complex film of the three and echoes distinctive grace notes which span an entire career.