In 2013, Pawel Pawlikowski gave us a timeless masterpiece that remained forever embedded in the memories of those who saw it. In Ida, the Polish director captured the reunion between a nun on the brink of taking her oaths and her aunt, as the pair embark on a journey deep into the heart of a family secret amidst the vestiges of a devastated Poland.
Contemplative and abstract, this feature-length film was a refreshing change from the whirlwind blur of images so often employed in film, with sumptuous black and white and pared-back stills used to delicately frame the faces of the two protagonists. By drawing up a portrait of two women tormented by their inner battles, Ida was a reflection on a country still crippled by the horrors of World War 2.
In Zimna Wojna (Cold War), Pawel Pawlikowski reiterates some of the visual hallmarks that made Ida such a magical experience. Shot in black and white, in 4:3 aspect ratio and between Paris, Lodz and Wroclaw, the action unfurls from 1949 to 1964, a passionate yet doomed romance in part inspired by the director's own parents.