The Double Life of Veronique


Director: Krzysztof Kieślowski
Country/Year: Poland, France, 1991
Duration: 98’

The first film by Krzysztof Kieslowski and screenplay writer Krzysztof Piesiewicz in this Polish-French co-production is a continuation of the metaphysical period in the director’s work. Two girls with the same name, a Polish and a French one, born on the same day, despite not knowing each other, subconsciously experience one other’s existence. The double role of Weronika/Véronique is played by Irène Jacob. The camera first follows the debuting chorus singer, living in Kraków, who unexpectedly dies during her first performance. Viewers then meet the second woman, who suddenly begins to have a feeling of loss of a loved one. Her decisions are guided by intuition, as if she were relying on the life experience of another person. This intriguing narrative brings up questions of the relationship between the two women, and if they had ever met. The particular mood of the film is also created by warm colors of cinematographer Sławomir Idziak and music by the superb Polish composer Zbigniew Preisner.

About the director:

Krzysztof Kieslowski (1941-1996) – a world famous director, who began his career as a documentalist. He was among the authors of the so-called “Cinema of Moral Anxiety” who, towards the end of the 1970s, decided to point their cameras closer to reality. They wanted to show real people and real problems through screen fiction. Man, his ethical choices and existential problems, was the centre of Kieslowski’s work. The director created the unique TV series “The Decalogue”, which was an attempt at a modern interpretation of the ten commandments – the basic ethical rules upon which Christian and Judaism culture are formed. Krzysztof Piesiewicz, an attorney, was Kieslowski’s regular collaborator, with whom he wrote most of his screenplays. In the later period of his work, the director became interested in metaphysics, a feature of the films he produced in France in the 1990s: “The Double Life of Veronique” and the trilogy “Three Colours: Blue, White, Red”, which symbolically correspond to three colors of the French flag.

Most important films:

  • 1979 “Camera Buff”
  • 1981 “Blind Chance”
  • 1984 “No End”
  • 1987 “A Short Film About Killing”
  • 1988 “A Short Film About Love”
  • 1991 “The Double Life of Veronique”
  • 1993 “Three Colours: White”

Author: Mikołaj Góralik
Translation to English: Katarzyna Matej