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Trilogy brings new Colors to liberty, equality and fraternity

Red, white and blue are the colors of the United States of America. But Blue, White and Red are the colors that unite France, Switzerland and Poland in one of the best cinematic experiences of the 1990s. The trilogy comes from the brilliant minds of Krzysztof Piesiewicz (who co-wrote the screenplay) and Krzysztof Kieslowski (who also wrote and directed the films).

The Three Colors Trilogy: Blue, White and Red are written about themes enveloping the slogan of the French Revolution: Liberty, Equality and Fraternity, respectively.

Each film is different, but all three intertwine and come together in the end. Along with the subtle yet powerful themes, each film of the trilogy has an interesting plot and an unexpected twist to it. It provides not only for good entertainment, but also provokes thought about the human condition and the meaning of a slogan sometimes taken for granted.

Blue (1993)

In the first film of the trilogy, Juliette Binoche stars as Julie, a young woman whose husband and daughter die in a car accident of which she is the sole survivor. Julie is trying to find her freedom from the pain and relationships of her past and start living a new life free of any attachments.

But as she tries to find solace in freeing herself from her old environment, she begins to discover the secret life her husband led. Julie finds that she can’t completely free herself from the life she used to lead, but the music that she composed with her husband helps her heal.

White (1994)

A young and beautiful Dominique (Julie Delpy) divorces her husband, Karol (Zbigniew Zamachowski), because their marriage was never consummated. Still in love with her, even after everything she has done to him, Karol longs for Dominique’s forgiveness.

When she denies him that, he plots a complicated plan to get revenge. Taking place mostly in Poland, the film shows the inequality of a relationship: Karol is obsessed, while Dominique is indifferent; Karol is impotent, Dominique is sexually unfulfilled. The film deals with the desire to be equal and the desire to avenge one’s pain by hurting the other.

Red (1994)

The final movie of the trilogy, Red is mostly about coincidences and the way people’s lives come together without their knowledge. Quite literally by accident, Valentine (Irene Jacob) meets an estranged former judge who takes pleasure from listening in on the phone conversations of his neighbors. As she begins to know the judge better, the audience becomes aware that the lives of the characters resemble each other. Fraternity is best recognized by the way those lives are parallel.

The DVDs

All DVDs have the original language track, mostly French, but also Polish, and all include English subtitles.

Each of the DVDs has a whopping amount of special features, most of them very interesting. For example, each DVD has a feature that explains the main themes of the movie through of interviews with authors, critics and the stars. Each feature is three to five minutes in length and is very informational.

All DVDs include Kieslowski’s filmography and audio commentary with Annette Insdorf, a film scholar and author of “Double Lives, Second Chances: The cinema of Krzysztof Kieslowski.” Insdorf was also Kieslowski’s translator between 1980 and 1996 when he died.

The commentary lets the viewer focus on all aspects of the films, ones that someone new to Kieslowski’s work might not be able to notice on first viewing.

“Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Cinema Lesson” (included on all three DVDs) is an exclusive interview with the director, who explains why certain scenes were included in each movie, how they were made and what is their significance.

It’s a good way to peer into the mind of the director, who explains his reasoning and shows his understanding of the audience.

The extensive list doesn’t stop there: Blue and White also include Kieslowski’s student films (one film does not have subtitles to the original Polish language track).

Also, each DVD includes the leading actress’ interview on Kieslowski and their selected scene commentaries. They talk extensively about their relationship with Kieslowski, the meaning of the movies, and their takes on their parts. The DVDs also contain interviews and selected scene commentaries with the producer of the films, Marin Karmitz.

The Box Set

The Three Colors: Blue, White, Red box set is very thorough in the exploration of the themes in the movies.

It provides deep insight into the filmmaker’s mind and gives the audience a full understanding of the films and their themes. The films are deeper than the meaning of the plot.

The films are exceptional and the special features are all worthy inclusions to this release. Kieslowski’s work has not gone unnoticed.

The trilogy, which is a staple in European filmmaking, has finally been released on DVD. It has been long expected and the anticipation is well rewarded.

The collection is available for 39.95 at

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