Cinema Club: Blind Chance (1987)

Posted on September 7, 2013

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Blind Chance (Krzysztof Kieslowski, 1987)

If anyone asks who my favourite director is, I will always, without hesitation, respond with Kieslowski. Sure, I can’t spell his first name without looking it up, but that isn’t important. The Dekalog, the Three Colours Trilogy, No End and many more, so many wonderfully paced films with interesting ideas and very human performances. ‘Blind Chance’ is yet another of these. If you’ve ever seen and enjoyed ‘Sliding Doors’, this is essentially what that film was based on, only made by adults.

Witek runs to catch a train, and thus three scenarios are born. In the first, he catches the train. In the second, he knocks over a bum who just bought a beer, fails to catch the train and has a skirmish with a station attendant leading to his arrest. In the third and final one, he knocks the bum but apologises, fails to catch the train and goes back to school. What follows in each scenario is a consistently engaging and interesting look at pre-revolution Poland, with a communist system on its last legs and tension bubbling underneath.

The Police state of Poland in the 1980s is a very interesting platform for social experiment, now we have the beauty of hindsight. If you are unhappy with your existence, how much do you rally against it? Should you go against everything you dislike? Should you try to mend the system, to fix the errors in the hope of improving it? Or should you try to stay out of it, get on with your life and make the most of whatever it is you’re doing? Its impossible for us as individuals to answer these questions unless we are in such a position. ‘Blind Chance’ covers the ethical quandaries of living in a claustrophobic close to collapse communist country (CHECK OUT THAT ALLITERATION), and it does it with humanity, grace and poise.

Regardless of all that, ‘Blind Chance’ is a beautifully put together film. But then again, what else would you expect from Kieslowski?

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Posted in: Cinema