CINEMA: When the Judge Is Guilty

Love redeems an ashamed, regretful jurist in Red, the conclusion to Krzysztof Kieslowski's fine Three Colors trilogy

Storytellers are tyrants, masters of sadistic caprice. They invent a character, put him through hell, maybe kill him off -- ah, maybe not -- to make a moral point, or just because they feel like it. They resemblehanging judges, and sometimes they must feel uneasy about their power over life and death, love and loneliness. Perhaps that is what prodded Polish director Krzysztof Kieslowski and his writing collaborator, Krzysztof Piesiewicz (himself a lawyer), to create Three Colors: Red, a movie about a judge racked by guilt, regret and his need to keep eavesdropping on other people's crimes and pain.

Decades ago,...

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