Krzysztof Kieslowski’s documentaries – Part 1

One of the most influential Polish directors of all time, Krzysztof Kieslowski delivered one masterpiece after the next, starting with the “Dekalog” (1989), “The Double Life of Véronique” (1991) and “Three Colors: Blue, White & Red” (1994), based on the ideals and the colors of the French flag, before dying prematurely at the age of 54. What most people don’t know is that Kieslowski started his career in the ’60s and ’70s with a series of emblematic documentary shorts that left an indelible mark on the genre and became an integral part of the influential Polish School of documentary filmmaking. With a priceless sense of humanity that shines through his entire filmography, these films are an impressive reflection of the time and place they were made in, oftentimes criticizing the political regime, while introducing some of the most disarming portraits of people-next-door ever gleaned in non-fiction.

Exile Room has curated a selection of ten documentaries, made between 1969 and 1980, along with “The Musicians” (1960) by Kazimierz Karabasz – his mentor – which also happens to be one Kieslowski’s 10 favorite films.


1. The Musicians | 1960 | 9’ | dir. Kazimierz Karabasz

2. From the City of Lodz | 1969 | 17’

3. I Was a Soldier | 1970 | 16’

4. Refrain | 1972 | 10’

5. X-Ray | 1974 | 13’

6. Seven Women of Different Ages | 1978 | 15’