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Krzysztof Kieslowski

Krzysztof Kieślowski (June 27, 1941 - March 13, 1996) was an influential Polish motion-picture director and screenwriter.

Krzysztof Kieslowski was born in Warsaw, Poland. Later he studied at Lodz Film School (1964-1968). After graduating in 1968, he successfully took up making documentary films. His first feature film Personnel (1975), was made for television and won him 1st Prize at the Mannheim Film Festival. Living under the oppression of a Communist dictatorship, his films were commentaries on the social problems at the time. After the fall of communism, he would become one of the leading filmmakers in Europe.

His 1988 The Decalogue, a series of ten short films, each based on one of the Ten Commandments, was created for Polish television but was also screened at major international film festivals and on television networks all over the world. Critics throughout Europe and North America claim it may be the best dramatic work ever done specifically for television, and the most impressive religious art produced in any field during recent decades. Filmmaker Stanley Kubrick described "The Decalogue" as the only masterpiece he could name in his lifetime.

During his career, Krzysztof Kieslowski made several commercially successful films in the French language, filmed both in Poland and in France. His commercial motion pictures were co-written by him and although fiction, were also social commentaries, centered on a variety of moral issues. In 1990, he received international acclaim with the film La double vie de Véronique (The Double Life of Véronique) starring Irene Jacob.
Irene Jacob and Krzysztof Kieslowski

His last work, a trilogy, is regarded by many as the finest single collection of films ever made. Critic, Roger Ebert calls the work a masterpiece. Also made in both France and Poland, the trilogy was titled Trois Couleurs (Three Colors), each based on a different color of the French flag and representing its social slogan evolving from the Revolution. Written by Kieslowski with his friend and civil-rights lawyer, Krzysztof Piesiewicz, accompanied by a superb musical score from Zbigniew Preisner, all three films brilliantly illustrate the profound nature of, and possibilities for, human beings.

"Blue" is the showcase piece for artistic direction, "White" the starkly contrasting but highly articulate portrait, and "Red" the graceful and warmest of the three films.

In 1993, he published an autobiography, "Kieslowski on Kieslowski."

Krzysztof Kieslowski died on March 13, 1996 from a massive coronary and was interred in Powazki Cemetery, Warsaw, Poland. Situation of his grave: on entering by the main entrance turn right and you will see his grave a short distance in, off the path to the right (very close to the perimeter wall). The grave has a sculpture of the thumb and forefingers of two hands forming an oblong - the classic view as if through a movie camera.
The small sculpture is in black marble on a pedestal slightly over a meter tall. The slab with Kieslowski's name and dates lies below.

Years after his death, he remains one of Europe's most influential directors, his works the study of film classes at universities throughout the world.

Released in 2002 at the Toronto Film Festival, the film "Heaven" is the final screenplay written by Krzysztof Kieslowski (with Krzysztof Piesiewicz).