Ida (2013) - Pawel Pawlikowski
18-year old Anna, a sheltered orphan who has been raised in a convent her entire life, is preparing to take her vows and become a nun. Her Mother Superior is insistent that she visit her only living relative, Wanda, before making this decision. Innocent Anna reluctantly agrees and soon visits Wanda, a cynical woman, who shocks Anna by explaining that Anna's real name is Ida and her Jewish parents were murdered during the Nazi Occupation. This revelation begins a heart-wrenching journey to the polish countryside that leaves Anna changed forever. Pawel Pawlikowski's Ida is a intimate drama that functions both as a beautifully realized coming of age story as well as a testament to haunting legacy of the Holocaust and the realities of post-war communism. Ida is a visually stunning film that uses beautifully crisp black and white cinematography as if Pawel Pawlikowski wishes to capture the battle between darkness and light which exists in the world, always at odds for supremacy over humanity. This film presents a young naive woman whose unaware of her family history, with much of the film being a deconstruction of her identity as she begins to grasp her true self from learning about the past transgressions that shaped her life. Ida is a film that balancing the weight of this horrifying history with the intimacy of a small character study, never losing focus of the importance of both attributes while delivering an incredibly affecting and powerful piece of filmmaking.
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