Autumn 2014 Features series
Sunday, November 9, 2014 at 4:00pm
Sunday, November 9, 2014 at 7:00pm
Directed by Pawel Pawlikowski
Screenplay by Rebecca Lenkiewicz and Pawel Pawlikowski
Starring Dawid Ogrodnik, Agata Trzebuchowska, and Agata Kulesza
Rated PG ·
Denmark / Poland
In Poland, few subjects are as controversial and emotionally charged as the relations between Catholics and Jews during the Nazi occupation. Following his success in England with films like Last Resort and My Summer of Love, director Pawel Pawlikowski has returned to his native country for the first time in his career to address one of his homeland’s most sensitive and painful topics. The result is one of the year’s most powerful and affecting films, which was awarded the FIPRESCI Special Presentations prize at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival, and Best Film at the 2013 BFI London Film Festival.
In 1960s Poland, Anna (Agata Trzebuchowska) is a novitiate nun about to take her vows. Instructed by her Mother Superior to visit her aunt prior to withdrawing into the religious life, the prim Anna meets her mother’s sister Wanda (Agata Kulesza), a raven-haired sensualist and former state prosecutor, who reveals some heretofore unknown information about Anna’s past—including her real name, Ida. This launches a remarkable journey into the countryside, where secrets both familial and national are darkly, inextricably intertwined.
Shooting in black and white and using the 1.37:1 Academy frame (the almost-square frame of classic cinema), Pawlikowski crafts a masterful drama which balances the intimate and personal with the world-historical. As the two women unearth ever more details about their family’s painful past, their search illuminates some of the darkest corners of Poland’s history under both fascist occupation and communist autocracy. Brilliantly structured, elegantly shot and impeccably executed, Ida will have all who see it reaching for superlatives.
“Riveting, original and breathtakingly accomplished on every level, Ida would be a masterpiece in any era, in any country.” (Godfrey Cheshire, RogerEbert.com)
“Spare, haunting, uncompromising, Ida is a film of exceptional artistry whose emotions are as potent and persuasive as its images are indelibly beautiful.” (Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times)
“There is an implicit argument here between faith and materialism, one that is resolved with wit, conviction and generosity of spirit. Mr. Pawlikowski has made one of the finest European films (and one of most insightful films about Europe, past and present) in recent memory.” (A.O. Scott, The New York Times)