The Three Colors: Red (Krzysztof Kieslowski – 1994) A

Krzysztof Kieslowski finishes the trilogy with a very hopeful film. If Blue was the serious drama, White was the farce, then Red is the sweet fable. It’s also the most lyrical of the three with its warm colors and lovely protagonist whose face just exudes warmth and love. It’s no wonder Kieslowski focuses so much on her. She is Valentine (played by Irene Jacob), living in Geneva and having a long-distance relationship with a journalist we never meet. He travels around Europe a lot. She has regular phone conversations with him but we slowly realize, just as she does that the relationship is falling apart. By happenstance she meets an old retired judge who has very different views on life than she does. People are “nice” she thinks, he certainly does not think so. The judge uses a radio to eavesdrop on his neighbors and Valentine of course thinks that is a horrible thing to do. Yet, a friendship between them blossoms, she brings some light into the old man’s life and he deeply understands her and intuits a lot about her past and family. We also have a parallel story that intertwines with Valentine’s even though neither really plays a big role in it. It revolves around Valentine’s neighbor who is studying to be a judge and whose life events very much mirror our old judge’s.  Only towards the end destiny, disaster and odd coincidence seem to push the young judge to meet Valentine…we hope.

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