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Director Focus: Krzysztof Kieslowski

Course Times & Enrolment

(Code FM176-302) • (0 classes) Course location to be confirmed •
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Course Summary

Visually striking, emotionally gripping and sensually overwhelming, Krzysztof Kieslowski’s body of work is a benchmark of art-house cinema. The course overviews the career of this extraordinary auteur, from his 1960s Polish short documentaries to the acclaimed Three Colours trilogy produced in France. Careful attention is given to the political, cultural and personal backdrop of Kieslowski’s films. Join us for lively discussion of one of the most profound and rich on-screen explorations of what it means to be human.

Course Details

Pre-requisites for enrolment

No prior knowledge required. 

Special Information

Guidance will be provided during class on where and how to access the discussed films.  

Content of Course

From his early films for Polish television to European art house fame, Kieslowski’ s cinema explores many ideas about modern society. Kieslowski has created singular cinematic experiences on both an aesthetic and intellectual level that have earned him his place among the great masters of modern European cinema.

The course is an introduction to the cinema of Krzysztof Kieslowski. Students explore a range of diverse examples from Kieslowski’s works, which form a basis for investigations of the ideological and moral constraints placed on the individual, and the power of love and human identity. Group discussions centre around recurring formal and narrative techniques used by the Polish director.

Teaching method(s)

The course is taught through a mixture of clip-based lectures and group discussions. Feedback on students’ progress and understanding will be provided during in-class discussions.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this course, students will be able to:  

  1. Develop an understanding of formal and narrative techniques in Kieslowski’s body of work; 

  1. Discuss Kieslowski’s films within a national, a European and a global context; 

  1. Discuss and evaluate auteur theory and Kieslowski as a cinematic auteur. 


Core Readings

There is no essential reading. The recommended titles below may be of interest to students, but there is no expectation to purchase any of these books.

Coates, P. (1999) Lucid Dreams: the Films of Krzysztof Kieslowski. Trowbridge: Flicks Books.

Haltof, M. (2004) The Cinema of Krzysztof Kieslowski: Variations on Destiny and Chance. London: Wallflower.

Insdorf, A. (1999) Double Lives, Second Chances: the Cinema of Krzysztof Kieslowski. New York: Hyperion.

Kickasola, J. G. (2004) The Films of Krzysztof Kieslowski: the Liminal Image. New York; London: Continuum.

Stok, D. (ed.) (1995) Kieslowski on Kieslowski. London: Faber.

Web Sources - introduction to Kieslowski’s cinema - overview of Kieslowski’s films  - website featuring digital restoration and digitization of Polish feature films, documentaries and animated films  


If you have questions regarding the course or enrolment, please contact COL Reception at Paterson's Land by email or by phone 0131 650 4400.

Student support

If you have a disability, learning difficulty or health condition which may affect your studies, please let us know by ticking the 'specific support needs' box on your course application form. This will allow us to make appropriate adjustments in advance and in accordance with your rights under the Equality Act 2010. For more information please visit the Student Support section of our website.