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The Double Life of Véronique
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The Double Life of Véronique

La Double vie de Véronique (The Double Life of Véronique; Polish title, Podwójne życie Weroniki) is a 1991 French- and Polish-language film directed by Krzysztof Kieślowski;, co-written by Kieślowski and Krzysztof Piesiewicz, starring Irène Jacob, with music by Zbigniew Preisner.

Warning: Plot details follow.

The film follows the parallel lives of a young woman in Poland, Weronika, and a young woman in France, Véronique, both played by Irène Jacob. Though unrelated, the two appear identical, share many personality traits, and seem to be aware of each other on some level, as if they are doppelgängers; but except for a brief glimpse through a bus window, they never meet. After Weronika sacrifices everything in the pursuit of a singing career, Véronique abandons her own similar goal because of poor health and attempts to find an independent course for her life, while becoming involved with a manipulative man who is fascinated by clues to her double nature.

Kieślowski had earlier used a similar idea of exploring different paths in life for the same person, in his Polish film Przypadek (Blind Chance), and the central choice faced by Weronika/Véronique is based on a brief subplot in the ninth episode of The Decalogue. The film was a departure from Kieślowski's earlier work in several ways: it was his first foreign production; it has a strong fantasy element; and its art direction is highly stylized, using color in a way that would later be echoed in Three Colors. It also showcased Preisner's musical score as a major plot element, crediting his work to the fictional van den Budenmayer.

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