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Krzysztof Kieslowski
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Krzysztof Kieslowski

Four years after his death on March 13, 1996, Krzysztof Kieslowski is still one of the most prominent and influential European filmmakers. HEAVEN is his last screenplay, left unfilmed at the time of his death, and the first part of a planned trilogy entitled Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory. Kieslowski was born on June 27, 1941, in Warsaw. He received his degree in directing from the University of Theater, Film, and Television in Lodz in 1969. Initially, the focus of his work was documentary films. His first foray into dramatic material came in 1973, with the TV-movie Przejscie Podziemne. Two years later, he directed his first film, Personel. Until 1980, the up-and-coming filmmaker continued to make both feature films and documentaries at the same time.

From 1979 to 1982, Kieslowski taught in the film and television department at Silesian University in Katowice. He was also vice-president of the Association of Polish Filmmakers from 1978 to 1981. In the mid-1980s, Kieslowski and his author Krzysztof Piesiewicz came up with the idea of making an unusual version of the Ten Commandments: ten sixty-minute films for television, brought together under the name Dekalog, that told stories of daily life in Poland. Two feature-film versions of the ground-breaking work,Krotki Film O Zabijaniu (1987) and Krotki Film O Milosci (1988),finally brought Kieslowski international recognition.

Le Double Vie de Veronique (1990) was the first film Kieslowski made outside Poland: portions of the film, which featured Irène Jacob, were shot in France. Paris was also the birthplace of his much-admired trilogy Trois CouleursBleu, Blanc, and Rouge. At the Berlin International Film Festival, Kieslowski declared that his career as a filmmaker would end when the trilogy was completed; he later changed his mind. However, he never again worked as a director. At the age of 54, Kieslowski died unexpectedly of a heart attack on March 13, 1996, in Warsaw.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2002.

Krzysztof Kieslowski Facts

BirthdayJune 27, 1941
BirthplaceWarsaw, Poland
Date of deathMarch 13, 1996 (age 54)

Selected Filmography

Not available.