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23. Bleu (Trois Couleurs Trologie)
Blue (Three Colours Trilogy)
Blue (Three Colors Trilogy)

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Blue is the first part of Kieslowski's trilogy very loosely based on France's national motto: Liberty, Equality, Fraternity. Blue, white, and red are the colors of the French flag in left-to-right order, and the story of each film is loosely based on one of the three political ideals in the motto of the French Republic: liberty, equality, fraternity. As with the treatment of the Ten Commandments in The Decalogue, the illustration of these principles is often ambiguous and ironic. As Kieslowski noted in an interview with an Oxford University student newspaper, “The words [liberté, egalité, fraternité] are French because the money [to fund the films] is French. If the money had been of a different nationality we would have titled the films differently, or they might have had a different cultural connotation. But the films would probably have been the same.”

The trilogy are also interpreted respectively as an anti-tragedy, an anti-comedy, and an anti-romance.

This is the story of Julie (Juliette Binoche) who loses her husband, an acclaimed composer and her young daughter in a car accident.

The film's theme of liberty is reflected in Julie's attempt to start a new life free of personal commitments and belongings, and even free of grief and love. She plans to commit a sort of spiritual suicide by withdrawing from the world and living alone and anonymously in Paris.

Despite her plans, characters from her former life, who need her and care about her, intrude with their own needs.

She cannot escape one particular artifact from her husband's life - his unfinished composition called Song for the Unification of Europe. She disposes of his notes for the piece, just as she tries to dispose of all her memories. But the composition continues to insinuate itself into her life.

Eventually she confronts the music as well as her own devastated psyche, and is drawn back to the land of the living.

Blue was an international co-production between the French companies CED Productions, Eurimages, France 3 Cinéma and[MK2 Productions, the Swiss company CAB Productions and the Polish company Studio Filmowe TOR.

Like the other films in the trilogy, Blue makes frequent visual allusions to its title: numerous scenes are shot with blue filters or blue lighting, and many objects are blue. When Julie thinks about the musical score that she has tried to destroy, blue light overwhelms the screen. The film also includes several references to the colors of the tricolor that inspired Kieslowski's trilogy: several scenes are dominated by red light, and in one scene, children dressed in white bathing suits with red floaters jump into the blue swimming pool. Another scene features a link with the next film in the trilogy: Julie is seen accidentally entering a courtroom where Karol, the Polish main character of White, is being divorced by Dominique, his estranged French wife.

Music plays an intricate element of the plot in that it ilustrates Julie's efforts to be isolated from everything but cannot do it, such as music cannot be made with a single note but through harmony with all others and how everyone has (or represents) a different kind of music, such as the union of Julie/Patrice had a special tone, which is quite different and more raw with the union of Julie/Olivier.

A symbol common to the three films is that of an underlying link or thing that keeps the protagonist linked to his/her past, in the case of Blue, it is the lamp of blue beads and a symbol seen throughout the film in the TV of people falling (doing either sky diving or bungee jumping), the director is careful in showing falls with no cords at the beginning of the film but as the story develops the image of cords becomes more and more apparent as a symbol of a link to the past. In the case of White the item that links Karol to his past is a 2 Fr. coin and a plaster bust that he stole from an antique store in Paris. In the case of Red the judge never closes or locks his doors and his fountain pen, which stops working at a crucial point in the story.

Another recurring image related to the spirit of the film is that of elderly people recycling bottles: In Three Colors: Blue, an old woman in Paris is recycling bottles and Julie does not notice her (in the spirit of freedom), in Three Colors: White, an old man also in Paris is trying to recycle a bottle but cannot reach the container and Karol looks at him with a sinister grin on his face (in the spirit of equality) and in Three Colors: Red an old woman cannot reach the hole of the container and Valentine helps her (in the spirit of solidarity).


  • Venice Film Festival, 1993: Best Film and Juliette Binoche, Best Actress, Best Cinematography: Slawomir Idziak
  • Cesar Award, 1993: Best Actress: Juliette Binoche, Best Sound, Best Film Editing
  • Goya Awards (Spain's Academy Awards): Best European Film

Three Colors: Blue (Bleu: Bande Originale Du Film) is the soundtrack album to the award-winning film Three Colors: Blue, with music composed by Zbigniew Preisner. The music is performed by the Sinfonia Varsovia (Beata Rybotycka, Elzbieta Towarnicka, Jacek Ostaszewski, Konrad Mastylo, Silesian Filharmonic Choir, Sinfonia Varsovia, Wojciech Michniewski - conductor)

  1. Song for the Unification of Europe (Patrice's Version) – 5:13
  2. Van Den Budenmayer-Funeral Music (Winds) – 2:02
  3. Julie-Glimpses of Burial – 0:30
  4. Reprise-First Appearance – 0:34
  5. The Battle of Carnival and Lent – 0:56
  6. Reprise-Julie with Olivier – 0:49
  7. Ellipsis 1 – 0:20
  8. First Flute – 0:50
  9. Julie-In Her New Apartment – 1:45
  10. Reprise-Julie on the Stairs – 1:05
  11. Second Flute – 1:16
  12. Ellipsis 2 – 0:20
  13. Van Den Budenmayer-Funeral Music (Organ) – 1:59
  14. Van Den Budenmayer-Funeral Music (Full Orchestra) – 1:47
  15. The Battle of Carnival and Lent II – 0:42
  16. Reprise-Flute (Closing Credits Version) – 2:19
  17. Ellipsis 3 – 0:22
  18. Olivier's Theme-Piano – 0:36
  19. Olivier & Julie-Trial Composition – 2:01
  20. Olivier's Theme-Finale – 1:38
  21. Bolero-Trailer For 'Red' Film – 1:08
  22. Song For The Unification Of Europe (Julie's Version) (Film) – 6:48
  23. Closing Credits – 2:04
  24. Reprise-Organ – 1:09
  25. Bolero-'Red' Film – 1:28

Genre: Drama
100 min
Country: France
Director: Krzysztof Kieslowski
Writing credits:
Krzysztof Kieslowski (scenario)
Krzysztof Piesiewicz (scenario)
Agnieszka Holland
...(scenario collaborator)
Edward Zebrowski
... (scenario collaborator)
Slawomir Idziak
... (scenario collaborator)
Produced by Marin Karmitz
Original Music: Zbigniew Preisner
Cinematography: Slawomir Idziak
Colour: Colour
Sound Mix: Dolby SR

Juliette Binoche - Julie Vignon (de Courcy)
Benoît Régent - Olivier
Florence Pernel  - Sandrine
Charlotte Véry - Lucille
Hélène Vincent  - La journaliste
Philippe Volter - L'agent immobilier Claude Duneton - Le médecin
Hugues Quester - Patrice
Emmanuelle Riva - La mère
Florence Vignon - La copiste
Daniel Martin - Le voisin du dessous
Jacek Ostaszewski - Le flutiste
Catherine Therouenne - La voisine
Yann Trégouët - Antoine
Alain Ollivier - L'avocat
Isabelle Sadoyan - La servante
Pierre Forget - Le Jardinier
Piotr Jaxa - Photographer at funeral
Julie Delpy - Dominique
Philippe Manesse
Arno Chevrier
Idit Cebula
Stanislas Nordey
Jacques Disses
Michel Lisowski
Yves Penay
Philippe Morier-Genoud
Julie Gayet
Alain Decaux
Zbigniew Zamachowski - Karol Karol (avec la participation de)


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