"Blind Chance" in Cannes

Przypadek (Blind Chance), photo courtesy of KinoRP


A digitally remastered copy of Krzysztof Kieślowski’s Przypadek (Blind Chance; 1981) was screened in the prestigious Cannes Classics section of the 67th Cannes International Film Festival. The film’s digital remastering was co-financed by the Polish Film Institute.

Cinema Classics in Cannes

The Cannes Classics section of the Cannes festival was launched ten years ago and showcases digitally remastered masterpieces of world cinema. According to the creators of this section, “this showcase is an homage to the remastering efforts carried out around the world, and the efforts of the film institutes, copyright holders, film archives, and production companies around the world.” Cannes Classics screenings are often followed by Q&A sessions with the filmmakers and the remastering team.

A Film Blocked by the Censorship Office

Produced in 1981 by Studio Filmowe Tor, Kieślowski’s Przypadek (Blind Chance) was blocked by the censors as a result of the introduction of martial law in Poland; the film was finally released theatrically six years later: on January 10, 1987. Przypadek was written and directed by Krzysztof Kieślowski and stars Bogusław Linda, with supporting performances by Tadeusz Łomnicki, Zbigniew Zapasiewicz, Bogusława Pawelec, Marzena Trybała, Zygmunt Hübner, and Adam Ferency. The film was lensed by Krzysztof Pakulski and scored by Wojciech Kilar.

A Film with a Missing Shot in Act Seven

Blind Chance was Krzysztof Kieślowski’s fifth feature film. He wrote the script in the summer of 1980. We filmed in 1981. […] We went underground during post-production. […] Thanks to the decision made by Studio Filmowe Tor and Maria Kieślowska, we chose to remaster the film in its original form, exactly as Krzysztof had finished it. This was an extremely difficult task. […] The pieces cut out by censors have gone missing. We don’t know what happened to them. […] I stored the film’s sound reels for 30 years. […] The remastered film is the complete picture, missing only a piece of one shot in act seven, which went missing at the Film Archive. […] I think that this screening today marks the true premiere of Blind Chance,” said Michał Żarnecki, author of the film’s remastered sound, at the film’s Krakow premiere.

Digital Remastering Co-Financed by the Polish Film Institute

On an interesting side note, Przypadek (Blind Chance) had its original international premiere in the Un Certain Regard section of the 1987 Cannes festival. The Polish gala premiere of the remastered copy was held on April 19, 2013 at the 6th Off Plus Camera International Independent Film Festival. The film was digitally remastered within the framework of the KinoRP project, a process co-financed by the Polish Film Institute, Studio Filmowe Tor, and Cyfrowe Repozytorium Filmowe.


Further details available at: www.festival-cannes.fr.


KinoRP is an initiative launched by KPD in 2008, focusing on remastering the masterpieces of Polish film art and bringing their quality up to par with today’s technology. The project is run under honorary patronage of Bogdan Zdrojewski, Poland’s Minister of Culture and National Heritage.


Further details about the digital remastering of Polish film classics are available at www.repozytoriumfilmowe.pl.


Paulina Bez, Marta Sikorska


Translated by Karolina Kołtun