FILM AND TRAUMA
A Lacanian interpretation of Kieślowski’s films
Krzysztof Kieślowski is an influential director whose work is usually divided into the early and late stage. The beginning of the late stage is marked by La double vie de Véronique (1991) and his later work is characterized by metaphysical themes and visual appeal. Frequent concern with life's second chances, characters' persistency in the pursuit of their plans and desires and the repeated use of leitmotifs made Kieślowski's movies and life an inspiring basis for Slavoj Žižek's psychoanalytic interpretation. The theoretical work of Slavoj Žižek is strongly influenced by the psychoanalysis of Jacques Lacan. This essay provides a detailed account of the psychoanalytic work of both authors, applied to Kieślowski's early and late films, especially to the film cycle Dekalog (1988), La double vie de Véronique and the Trois Couleurs trilogy: Bleu, Blanc,and Rouge (1993/1994). Psychoanalytic concepts such as "the ethics of desire", "multiple realities", "the Real" and "sinthomes" can be applied to the content of Kieślowski's movies, while the concepts of suture and interface are reflected in their formal aspects, such as movie frames. For a better understanding of the psychoanalytic framework, other examples are quoted from the films of highly respected directors, such as Alfred Hitchcock, Andrei Tarkovski and Jean-Pierre Jeunet. The research is an attempt at introducing readers to the work of Krzysztof Kieślowski in the light of Lacanian and Žižek's interpretation, and the director's personal reflections on his own films, along with the socio-political context during the shooting of his early movies, as described in the works of Marek Haltof and Joseph G. Kickasola.