IdaDirector: Pawel Pawlikowski
Poland, Denmark | Polish
| Black & White
Subtitles: Arabic, English
Set in 1962, Ida offers a layered exploration of religious and personal identity that brings alive the gravity and grimness of history with its austere yet poetic imagery. It tells the story of Anna, a beautiful 18-year-old novitiate nun, who is on the verge of taking her vows when she discovers a dark family secret dating back to the years of the Nazi occupation. Shot in shadow-filled black and white in the old, boxy Academy screen ratio with music playing an important role, this devastatingly beautiful film makes audiences mourn the fact that they don’t make ‘em the way they used to any more.
Anna is a longtime orphan who has been raised in the convent she hopes to join. One day, to her surprise, the mother superior insists that she spend time with an aunt, Wanda, that she never knew existed. Together, the two women embark on a voyage of discovery . . . of each other and their past. Wanda is not only a former hardline Communist state prosecutor notorious for sentencing priests and others to death but also a Jew. Anna learns that she, too, is Jewish and that her real name is Ida.
The revelation about her past sets Anna on a journey to uncover her roots and confront the truth about her family. She must choose between her birth identity and the religion that saved her from Nazi massacres. And Wanda must confront decisions she made during the war when she chose loyalty to the cause before family. Winner, Best Film, Gdynia Film Festival; FIPRESCI prize, Toronto Film Festival.