“Ida”: Poland’s Beautiful Best Foreign Film Nominee, Now Available on Netflix
February 11, 2015 § 2 Comments
Set in 1962, “Ida” is the story of a convent-raised orphan who, on the eve of taking her final vows to become a nun, is instructed by her Mother Superior to meet her only living relative, the aunt who refused to claim her. The young novitiate, Anna, does, and immediately learns that her real name is Ida Lebenstein, and that her Jewish parents were murdered by their Catholic neighbors during World War II.
Her aunt Wanda, a resistance fighter during the war, became a prosecutor afterwards, punishing war criminals. But when she meets her niece, she is no longer working and deeply embittered, a lonely, promiscuous woman with a drinking problem. After initially rejecting Ida–clad as always in her nun’s habit–Wanda takes her to the family village to learn the truth about her parents’ deaths.
Shot in black-and-white, “Ida” is visually stunning, full of painterly, beautifully composed shots. The fact that actress who plays Ida, Agata Trzebuchowska, looks like a Vermeer subject only adds to the effect. The journey undertaken by the two women is fascinating, as it concerns not only the past but the present and future. Will Ida take her vows after finding her Jewish roots and tasting secular life? Will Wanda (the excellent Agata Kulesza) still be part of her life?
I loved this film and said so on Twitter. Moments later I got this response from a stranger: “Hogwash and lies-nothing more” along with this link
http://www.pch24.pl/an-oscar-for-murderers,33543,i.html#ixzz3PeNHaSQN to a virulent review of “Ida” in a Polish Catholic newspaper. “I didn’t think it was a documentary,” I responded. Neither should anyone, but as “Ida” proves, some wounds don’t heal.