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Blind Chance [DVD]

4.4 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

Price: £7.41 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Boguslaw Linda, Tadeusz Lomnicki, Zbigniew Zapasiewicz, Marzena Trybala
  • Directors: Krzysztof Kieslowski
  • Producers: Jacek Szeligowski
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Polish
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Artificial Eye
  • DVD Release Date: 27 Oct. 2003
  • Run Time: 124 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000AQVIM
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 57,847 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

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 man’s 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.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Shot in 1981, this influential film by Krzysztof Kieslowski was subjected to years of censorship by the Polish authorities and did not become public property until the Cannes Film Festival in 1987. Kieslowski explores the role of chance, how seemingly innocuous decisions or events can change our lives. Witek is a fundamentally decent young man, studying medicine, who runs to catch a train. It seems as if his career and his future depend on him boarding the train, but Kieslowski replays the scenario three times. On each occasion, Witek experiences a different future: whether he catches the train or not, a different set of circumstances becomes a possibility and his fate is left in the hands of blind chance.
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.
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By Jason Parkes #1 HALL OF FAME on 29 Nov. 2003
Blind Chance is one of a number of early Kieslowski works released on DVD, and a film that deserves to be seen being an influence, both direct and indirect, to Sliding Doors (1998, it's referred to in the credits)& Run Lola Run (1999 respectively. It's the last of Kielowski's directly political works, a cycle that had run from the early documentaries and short films to full-length features The Scar and Camera Buff (both also issued).
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.
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The film centres on the life of a young medical student, Witek, who, depending on the stage in the film, either catches his train to Warsaw or misses it. The film then plays out the three ways in which Witek's life develops as a result of his success or failure to make the intended journey to Warsaw. The previous reviewer's assertion that 'Blind Chance' is a "more convoluted" version of 'Sliding Doors' is frankly absurd. 'Blind Chance' was released in 1981, the characters are actually well-constructed, the dialogue between characters is reasonably engaging and thought provoking, and many of the scenes are beautifully shot. The film also provides an interesting insight into life in Communist-era Poland. 'Sliding Doors', which appeared 17 years later, is just a pretty vacuous and predictable Hollywood production starring a token American blonde with a faux-English accent. So no, I don't agree.
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By technoguy VINE VOICE on 5 Aug. 2011
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Blind Chance has a triangular structure,to give 3 versions of Witek's life.Kieslowski is turning inwards to underwrite his spiritual interpretation of a young man's life,buffeted by blind chance,coincidence and destiny.Film projects the conditional and future vistas,what may have happened or what might yet happen.Witek(Boguslaw Linda) is injected into 3 different scenarios of his life,one where joining the Communist Party,he works within the system to achieve a better life,one where he draws closer to belief in God(via the underground),one where he is a quietist/ apolitical doctor and marries.This covers the 3 main institutions:The Party, the church and lastly marriage.No one life is right or good.Each life is distinct and different,yet Witek remains the same.How much freedom do we have?How much is our life determined?How much does our will have to play existentially?

We see Witek after hearing his dying father's words," 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.
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