First Impression: Ida glows at European Panorama

Wael Eskandar, Sunday 23 Nov 2014

Ida, a black and white movie by Pawel Pawlikowski, looks into two women who roam 1960s Poland to discover who they really are. The film will screen again 23 and 29 November

Still from Ida

In black and white, with mesmerising imagery, stands out from the first moments Ida by Pawel Pawlikowski. This film's cinematography makes it one of the more impressive black and white cinema experiences.

The shots are planned and executed with great attention to detail. The camera is ever fixed in position, with a square window offering us moving black and white portraits of seemingly iconic imagery.

The story is set in Poland in the 1960s and centres on a young nun about to make her final vows. She discovers that she has an aunt  and that her origins are Jewish. She visits her aunt and they begin a journey to discover what happened to her parents.

Behind the storyline are many philosophical questions. In the background, a thread consistently explored is the relationship between life and spirituality and the meaning of contentment. The imagery is thought provoking, hypnotic and offers much to contemplate.

The film won numerous awards, including Best Cinematographer (Ryszard Lenczewski and Lukasz Zal) in the European Film Awards and Best Film in the London Film Festival.

It is rare when the picture echoes thoughts and sentiments with such precision. For fans of black and white, Ida is a highly recommended experience.

Ida will screen again on Sunday, 23 November, at 10.30pm at Zawya (Odeon Cinema) and on Saturday, 29 November, at 1pm at Galaxy Cinema.

Check the full programme of the Panorama of the European Film and our recommendations.

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