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Amazing film! Its structure an obvious inspiration for "Sliding Doors" and "Run, Lola, Run"
This film should be seen as one of Kieslowski's best. It is structured in three parts, each representing a different outcome of a single chance event (Tom Tykwer flat out stole this idea for his great movie Run, Lola, Run -- I'm not complaining, though). Kieslowski uses this singular situation in which the viewer realizes that where you are in life is largely due to chance to pose philosophical questions about how an individual should deal with his surroundings.
Within the context of the socialist police state of Poland at that time he asks us if we are supposed to fight the system we live in, be part of it and change it from the inside, or whether being happy in life is the one thing we are actually responsible for? In other words, is it worth fighting against everything we don't like? Is accepting it no different from selling out? Should we just try to make the most of it? Kieslowski gives us no answers, which is why this film, as well as all other Kieslowski films I have seen, seems so honest, so true to life. The only honest answer to the hard questions is "I don't know"
The film is also graced with careful, subtle characterizations, beautiful but gritty camera-work, a true comprehension of human emotions as well as of human conflict, and the style and brilliance of a man who truly understands.
I know this: Kieslowski is a master.
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