There are words that yield far more easily to the lips than they do to the mind. Every day, we reach for a set of shared values and concepts which, laid down in another place and another time, no longer seem as well defined as they used to be. Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Three Colours trilogy springs from a desire for clarification, to return to the revolutionary French values of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity and ask: What do they mean for us today?
Three Colours: White is the second film in the trilogy and its conceptual slipperiness reflects the fact that equality is one of our least understood values. We all want to live in an equal society but do we really understand what equality entails and where in our society should the value of equality assert itself? Does a commitment to equality entail a commitment to equality of outcomes or of opportunities? Or are we talking instead about the creation of a society in which everyone is equally happy and/or equally miserable? Three Colours: White explores the dubious morality of a pursuit of emotional parity.