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THE DOUBLE LIFE
aka LA DOUBLE VIE DE VeRONIQUE
UK: Artificial Eye
Cast: Irene Jacob, Philippe Volter, Halina Gryglaszewska, Louis Ducreux, Sandrine Dumas, Claude Duneton, Kalina Jedrusik and Aleksander Bardini, Wladyslaw Kowalski, Jerzy Gudejko, Jan Sterninski, Lorraine Evanoff, Guillaume De Tonquedec, Gilles Gaston-Dreyfus, Alain Frerot, Youssef Hamid, Thierry De Carbonnieres, Chantal Neuwirth, Nausicaa Rampony, Boguslawa Schubert, Jacques Potin, Nicole Pinaud, Philippe Campos, Beata Malczewska, Dominika Szady, Barbara Szalapek, Jacek Wójcicki, Lucyna Zabawa, Wanda Kruszewska, Bernadetta Kus, Pauline Monier, Anna Gronostaj
Director: Krzysztof Kieslowski
Countries: France / Poland / Norway
Languages: Polish / French (English subtitles)
UK: 98 mins
UK Certificate: 15
UK Release Date: 17 March 2006 (Limited Re-release - London)
THE DOUBLE LIFE OF VeRONIQUE, one of the most acclaimed films by the masterful Polish auteur, Krzysztof Kieslowski (director of DEKALOG and the THREE COLOUR'S TRILOGY), is a beautifully lyrical and enigmatic tale of duality and yearning.
Co-written by Kieslowski's regular collaborator Krzysztof Piesiewicz and shot by 'Dekalog' and 'Blue' cinematographer Slawomir Idziak, the film also features a haunting and unforgettable musical score by the incomparable Zbigniew Preisner.
Two young women lead totally separate lives in France and in Poland, one called Veronique and one called Weronika. They have no blood relation and they and their families have never met, but they are physically identical to one another, and strangely aware of each other's presence. Despite their different backgrounds, the two share the same likes and foibles, and above all both of them have a magnificent sublime voice and an extraordinary musical talent. Unfortunately each girl suffers from the same, barely detectable, cardiac malformation. They also share the same wisdom, inspiring one to unconsciously avoid making the same mistakes in life as the other...
There are wonderful performances by the whole cast, but Irene Jacob is utterly captivating in the twin roles of Veronique and Weronika, her luminous performance both magical and unsettling.
Note from the director Krzysztof Kieslowski
"The film is about sensibility, presentiments and relationships which are difficult to name, which are irrational. My search for the right balance between the obvious and the mysterious is the reason for all the various versions made in the cutting room.
VeRONIQUE is a typical example of a film about a woman because women feel things more acutely, have more presentiments, greater sensitivity, greater intuition and attribute more importance to all these things. VeRONIQUE couldn't have been about a man. They used to criticize me terribly in Poland saying that I portrayed women as one-dimensional characters. Maybe that's why I thought to myself, through ambition, 'Right, I'll make a film about a woman from a woman's point of view.... from the point of view of her sensitivity, her world."