by Zito Madu

Detail from a black and white photo of someone on crutches, walking away, just from the knees down
Picturepest [CC BY 2.0] via Flickr

For the past half year, I’ve been working on a project inspired by the film director Krzysztof Kieślowski, particularly the principle he espoused of living carefully. It’s a theme that shows up in his works, and sometimes as the main theme, such as when he talked about The Double Life of Veronique, in Kieślowski: Dialog—a documentary about the making of the film: 

I think one of the most important things in life that gets you through the day is responsibility. You have to broaden the term a bit. Everyone is responsible for himself and for his life. That's understandable….But I think there’s also another kind of responsibility, the existence of which we don’t understand. It’s responsibility for other people, for people we meet or perhaps don't meet.
The main theme of this film is ‘live more carefully’. Because you don't know what the consequences of your actions may be. You don’t know what they will do to people, whom you know or don’t know. You don’t know how your actions may influence them. Live carefully, because there are people around you, whose lives and well-being depend on your actions.

In May of 2023, his daughter, Marta Hryniak, did an interview about her father’s work where she said that living carefully wasn’t only the guiding principle in his films but in his life, and it was a way of being that he tried to instill in her as well: 

“Dad used to tell me in conversations: ‘live carefully.’ He emphasized it very strongly and taught me that. To pay attention to people, to listen to them, not to show antipathy. To be attentive to the outside world. That's how Dad lived.”

My project on living carefully is around love. Well, not love but almost-love. So many books and stories about love are centered around first love, marriage, betrayal, divorce, the big breakups, losing a loved one, etc.: the important experiences that shifted the person in some dramatic way. 

It’s a paywall, but a small one

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