Movies, Drama

Ida

No Comments 9 December 2014

Ida

After a long break I had a chance to see Ida last night. I don’t know where I learned about the film. It was on my list of movies to see. Ida is a film about an 18-year-old girl who is about to take her vows as a nun. The mother superior of the convent believes, however, that Ida needs to learn about her past before committing herself to a life without family and children.

Ida now learns that she has an aunt she never knew about. Ida sees no point in visiting the aunt but she is left no choice by the mother superior. Paweł Pawlikowsk (director and writer) now takes us onto a Polish road movie that is remarkable. I do not want to tell you anything more about what happens to Ida because it would spoil your appreciation of this journey into one person’s history that manages to bring alive the entire complicated history of Poland from 1939 to 1960.  The film gets by with relatively little dialogue:  the story is told in pictures and with music, ranging from classical masterpieces to life jazz. The film is shot entirely in black-and-white to better create the mood of Poland in the 1960s. I think you will enjoy this beautiful film even more if you read a bit about the history of Poland during and after World War II here.
At one point someone says to Ida: “You have no idea what effect you have on other people, do you? ” Ida will have a big effect on you as well. The film is serious:  we sense from the beginning that what Ida will learn about her past that will be uncomfortable. But it offers an aesthetic experience that is rare.  Poland has nominated the film as its entry to the Oscars for the best foreign film in 2015. It deserves to win and you deserve to see it.

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Peter

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