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Blind Chance [DVD]
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Poland, in the politically turbulent late 1970s: Witek is running to catch a train. From this banal event, Krzysztof Kieslowski, the director of Dekalog and the Three Colours trilogy, imagines three different possible outcomes in the young mans life. In the first scenario, Witek catches the train, on which he meets some hard line Communists and joins the party. In the second, as Witek runs for the train, his path is blocked by a ticket inspector; the ensuing struggle leads to his arrest and subsequent involvement in the political underground. In the final scenario, Witek misses the train and he returns to the medical studies that he intended to abandon. He falls in love with a female student, gets married and lives a quiet life as a doctor, showing little interest in politics.
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Top Customer Reviews
We are shown three possible futures for Witek - as Communist Party functionary, as Christian and political radical, or as an apolitical family man, content in his role as a doctor. Each of his options provides a commentary on the politics of Poland in the 1980's, most significantly in its reflection on the role of censorship and how ideas can shape our understanding of the world (and of ourselves).
Poland, of course, was rent with changes in the 1980's - as was the entire Soviet bloc. Where would it go as a nation, as a political entity? Kieslowski and his contemporaries were brought up in Marxist dialectical materialism, suggesting that there was an inevitability to the emerge and dominance of the Communist Party. So what role is played by chance? If the plot to assassinate Hitler had succeeded in 1944, Poland might have been liberated by Western armies and politicians, not Soviet ones.Read more ›
Three-part episodic films have been a frequent mode in contemporary cinema (Mystery Train, Pulp Fiction, Run Lola Run), so Blind Chance can be seen as a major film from that angle. Kieslowski, writing on his own for the last time, offers three alternate stories based around Witek (Boguslaw Linda)catching a train. Variations on this theme occur- the first episode centres around joining the Communist party; the second sees him arrested, a path which leads to prison and becoming a militant political activist; and the third, sees him meet a female, settle down to a peaceful life of marriage, rejecting the world of politics and ends with an ironic twist of fate....
Kieslowski's film looks at chance and fate, themes that would recur in The Double Life of Veronique (the death, recurrence waiting for Veronique after Weronika dies)& Three Colours:Red (the way in which Valentine keeps missing her ideal lover, until fate conspires in another accident at the film's denoument). There are political elements here, notably in episodes 1 and 2, perhaps the third could be seen as a rejection of politics on Kieslowksi's part- as his work after shifted into an existential/philosophical mode that many found oblique.Read more ›
We see Witek after hearing his dying father's words,"..you don't have to be.." he gets the freedom to choose his own path,not become what his father wanted him to be,a doctor.He takes leave to look up an old girlfriend,seeking to get a Lodz to Warsaw train,he runs to get it and catches it,or in 2 more runs to catch the same train,he misses it and gets into a fight,or he misses it and meets a fellow medical student.This explores moral and political questions,forces us to watch closely and listen attentively through the narrative magnetism of cinema.In each scenario Witek is presented with a flight ticket to France,a symbol of escape from his duties.Duties should be derived from our morality.Each life takes him on a different path,with a different goal, and meets a different set of people,in each he loves a different woman.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
anything by this amazing director is worth watching. this leaves plenty to talk about as to what he is saying about political engagement and a real surprise at the endPublished 17 months ago by PaleWriter
Although, latterly, Polish filmmaker Krzysztof Kieslowski made a point of toning down (or even completely ditching) the overt political content in his films, this early film (made... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Keith M
This film supplies us with three alternative endings to the same basic story. A man is catching a train, but how do the different events that precede and follow this everyday... Read morePublished on 25 April 2013 by Pete Johnson
This is absolutely the best Kieslowski film, and maybe one of the best highly intelectual films ever made, at the same high level as Ingmar Bergman films. Read morePublished on 18 Sept. 2006 by Matthias