The best of all worlds : public, personal, and inner realms in the films of Krzysztof Kieslowski
This thesis is a study of the oeuvre of Krzysztof Kielowski. In particular, I examine claims made by Kielowski and many critics that in the 1980s the director moved away from filming the public world, which had been crucial to his work since he began filming in the late 1960s and became instead primarily concerned with the inner world. Although I agree that Kieslowski increasingly shifted his emphasis to the inner life, I argue that any attempt to abandon the public world in his later films was in fact of more limited scope than his claims suggest and his focus on the inner sphere neither absolute nor lacking in ambivalence. I distinguish between three realms of existence in Kielowski's narratives: the public sphere, namely, public life be it socio-political, economical, or work-related; the personal sphere, consisting of the individual's family and close friends; and the inner sphere, comprising the intimate emotional and mental life of the individual. By extensively examining Kielowski's treatment of these spheres and how they interact with and inform both one another and the films, I aim to demonstrate that the public and personal realms continued play a significant part in the productions of the 1980s and 1990s, regardless of Kielowski's claims otherwise, and result in more complex, multi-layered, and ambiguous narratives than is usually recognised. In distinguishing between the spheres that make up the individual's existence, I discuss the concomitant differences between public and inner realities. I examine the complications and ambiguities that arose from the combined presence of these quite distinct realities in the final works and end by looking at how they influenced Kielowski's decision to abandon fihnmaking in the mid-1990s. My thesis is also a career-survey of Kielowski's oeuvre and; in addition to substantiating my arguments, I simultaneously discuss what I believe to be other interesting and important aspects of Kielowski and his work, including the financing and censorship of his films, his political tendencies, his representation of his male and female characters as well as his distinction between youth and adulthood, his collaborative method; his relationship with his audience, and his critical reception. In doing so I aim to provide a detailed overview of Kielowski's entire career which can stand alone as a self-contained and comprehensive reference work and thus fill the current gap in English-language studies of Kielowski.