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Films of two great Polish directors: Kieślowski and Skolimowski in Heerlen

This week in the cinema de Spiegel in the Dutch city of Heerlen two films by famous Polish directors Kieślowski and Skolimowski will be presented.

On 24 March EO a 2022 film directed by a 85 year old Jerzy Skolimowski will be presented. It is a drama road movie. It presents the life of a donkey born in a Polish circus. Its premiere took place at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2022 and it won the Jury Prize. It was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best International Feature Film at the 95th Academy Awards.

Jerzy Skolimowski besides being a film director is also a screenwriter, dramatist, actor and painter. He is a graduate of a prestigious National Film School in Lodz and he has directed more than twenty films since his debut Oko Wykol (The Menacing Eye) in 1960.

He received the Golden Lion Award for Lifetime Achievement at the 2016 Venice Film Festival. 

On March 26 The Double Life of Veronique from 1991 by Krzysztof Kieślowski will be shown. It presents two parallel stories about two identical women; one living in Poland, the other in France. Despite the fact that they do not know each other their lives are strongly connected.

Krzysztof Kieslowski (1941 – 1996) is considered one of the most influential directors of the 1980s and 1990s, whose versatile oeuvre continues to inspire directors today. Kieslowski wanted to “make films about people’s innermost thoughts and emotions, about what they don’t show to others”. Graduated from the prestigious Polish film school in Lodz, Kieslowski mainly made documentaries in the 1970s, in which he recorded daily life in a totalitarian state, sharp observations that regularly brought him into contact with censorship. He made his international breakthrough with the ten-part film series Dekalog, in which he investigated the meaning of the Ten Commandments for modern man. After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, nothing stood in the way of an international career: La Double Vie De Véronique (1991) and especially the triptych Trois Couleurs: Bleu, Blanc en Rouge (1993), based on the colors of the French flag. – 1994), starring the French star actresses Irène Jacob, Juliette Binoche and Julie Delpy, are Kieslowski’s most stylized films, but at the same time deal with earthly themes such as love, loss and deceit, and found audiences worldwide.

He received many awards during his career, such as Cannes Film Festival Jury prize in 1988, The International Federation of Film Critics award FIPRESCI in 1988 and in 1991, the Venice Film Festival Prize in 1989, Golden Lion in 1993, the Berlin International Film Festival Silver Bear in 1994. In 1995 he received Academy Award nominations for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay. In 2002, Kieślowski was listed at number two on the British Film Institute’s Sight and Sound list of the top ten film directors of modern times. In 2007, British film magazine Total Film ranked him at No. 47 on its “100 Greatest Film Directors Ever” list.

On the occasion of the brand new restorations of Trois Couleurs: Bleu, Blanc en Rouge and La Double Vie De Véronique, Spiegel cinema has been presenting since February the most important feature films by the Polish master Krzysztof Kieslowski.

Images: De Spiegel

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