Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

"Ida": A Search for Truth in Postwar Poland 

Wednesday, May 21 2014

Pawel Pawlikowski's atmospheric, black and white Ida is a film out of time, like a 1950s Andrzej Wajda script directed by Jim Jarmusch in the 1980s. And that befits the title character, an orphan raised in a convent in early 1960s Poland who thinks her name is Anna (Agata Trzebuchowska). On the eve of taking her vows, the Mother Superior sends Anna to visit her weary Communist aunt Wanda (Agneta Kulesza), who reveals that Anna's real name is Ida, and that her parents were a Jewish couple killed during the Occupation. What follows is a road movie as Ida and Wanda try to find Ida's parents' graves, and Ida tries to make sense of the world outside the convent, a world which hasn't yet made sense of itself: a Poland of older people trying to come to terms with what they did to survive during Fascism, and just as uncertain about the new Communist regime, while the younger people find escape by playing John Coltrane in jazz clubs. But Ida is just as much about Trzebuchowska's big, onyx-colored eyes, which reveal everything and nothing, and the compositions which frequently place her at the bottom of the frame — all the better for the weight of the strange world to rest on her shoulders.

About The Author

Sherilyn Connelly


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"