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The Double Life of Veronique

About performance

Film of the Alternative cinema: Authors' Collections series

Preceded by an episode of Alternative Cinema with {Kirill Serebrennikov|http://territoryfest.ru/en/authors/serebrennikov/}

Original title: La Double vie de Véronique

France / Poland / Norway — 1991

Runtime: 98 min

Director: Krzysztof Kieslowski

Cast: Irène Jacob, Halina Gryglaszewska, Kalina Jedrusik, Aleksander Bardini, Wladyslaw Kowalski, Jerzy Gudejko, Janusz Sterninski, Philippe Volter, Sandrine Dumas

The film follows the lives of a young woman first in Poland, Weronika, and then a young woman in France, Véronique, both played by Irène Jacob. Though unrelated, the two appear identical, share many personality traits, and seem to be aware of each other on some level, as if they are doppelgängers; but except for a brief glimpse through a bus window in Kraków, they never meet. After Weronika sacrifices everything in the pursuit of a singing career, Véronique abandons her own similar goal because of poor health and attempts to find an independent course for her life, while becoming involved with a manipulative man who is fascinated by clues to her double nature. The man is a puppeteer and maker of marionettes, helping raise the questions that are central to the film: is there such a thing as free will, or is it up to a creator of some kind, or is it just a matter of chance that one acts and thinks as one does?

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