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29 April 2016: Ida

Pawel Pawlikowski
2013 | 80 min | B/W | DCP

Pawel Pawlikowski’s Bressonian first feature, Ida, delves through 20th Century Polish history to explore the anti-Semitism within Polish culture during WWII and the Stalinist peak in the 50s.

"Orphaned during WWII, Anna (Agata Trzebuchowska) was brought up in a rural convent and in early 60s Poland is a young novice preparing to take her vows. When the Mother Superior insists she make contact with her last remaining relative, she meets her aunt Wanda (Agata Kulesza), a free-living intellectual working as a judge and secretly annihilating painful memories with a heady mix of sex and booze. Their encounter lifts the shroud off the dark secret of their family’s past and both women must confront the devastating truth. Pawlikowski’s cinematic style here recalls the great Robert Bresson who wrote of actors: 'the thing that matters is not what they show me but what they hide from me and, above all, what they do not suspect is in them'". – Clare Stewart

Part of our series on Masters of Polish Cinema