In a Russian coastal town, Kolya is forced to fight the corrupt mayor when he is told that his house will be demolished. He recruits a lawyer friend to help, but the man's arrival brings further misfortune for Kolya and his family.
In the Yorkshire countryside, working-class tomboy Mona meets the exotic, pampered Tamsin. Over the summer season, the two young women discover they have much to teach one another, and much to explore together.
Georges and Anne are an octogenarian couple. They are cultivated, retired music teachers. Their daughter, also a musician, lives in Britain with her family. One day, Anne has a stroke, and the couple's bond of love is severely tested.
Jep Gambardella has seduced his way through the lavish nightlife of Rome for decades, but after his 65th birthday and a shock from the past, Jep looks past the nightclubs and parties to find a timeless landscape of absurd, exquisite beauty.
Poland, 1962. Anna, an orphan brought up by nuns in the convent, is a novice. She has to see Wanda, the only living relative, before she takes her vows. Wanda tells Anna about her Jewish roots. Both women start a journey not only to find their family's tragic story, but to see who they really are and where they belong. They question what they used to believe in.Written by
Cinematographer Ryszard Lenczewski quit the film after shortly into filming, allegedly for medical reasons, though director Pawel Pawlikowski has later said that Lenczewski left because he did not care for the film and that they would not be working together again. He was replaced by Lukasz Zal, who had been a camera operator on the film. See more »
When Ida is in a church, the priest seems to be getting ready to say Mass and we see a versus populum altar, which didn't become the norm until years later after Vatican II. The movie takes place in 1961 and the priest would have been saying Mass on the high altar. See more »
What sort of sacrifice are these vows of yours?
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The producer told her audience at the Guanajuato International Film Festival (Mexico) that finding funding for a b&w film took a long time. How wise she and the director were to hold out because b&w gives the film its period feel (the events occur 1961-62).
The story, occasionally too linear, is believable overall, at times all too believable. Its subtext: coming of age, Communism's excesses in Poland, peasant-Jewish relations during the Holocaust, worldliness vs. faith. And yes, they all work.
The aunt is played by a justly renowned Polish actress, the novice nun by an amateur who despite the film's success in Poland doesn't want to continue to act.
I don't want to spill over into spoilers, will sum up by saying that viewers will see a complex film simply told, set during Poland's painful post-war years and a no-holds-barred look at how various Poles treated Jews during the Second World War.
Ida played to large audiences in Poland where the film was generally praised, despite receiving flak from a few detractors as either anti-Polish or anti-Jewish, a fact reinforcing my view that the film owes part of its power to avoiding stereotypes. A compelling, technically excellent film worth the care lavished on it.
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