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Golden Age Cinema and Bar
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“Do you have sinful thoughts sometimes?”

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Winner of the Best Foreign Language Film at the 2015 Academy Awards (the first Polish film to do so), Ida is a quiet and powerful modern masterpiece directed by Paweł Pawlikowski (Cold War). A novice nun on the verge of taking her vows in 1960s Poland, Anna (Agata Trzebuchowska) is instructed by her prioress to visit her aunt and only surviving relative Wanda Gruz (Agata Kulesza) in Warsaw. There, the hedonist and former communist fighter Wanda tells Anna her real name is actually Ida Lebenstein while insisting she enjoy the pleasures of life before taking her vows. As Ida seeks out the graves of her parents and strikes sparks with a young hitchhiking saxophonist Lis (Dawid Ogrodnik), she must decide whether to embrace a normal life in the city or return to the ascetic convent.

Why See This Film

Strikingly crafted by Oscar-nominated cinematographer Łukasz Żal (with Ryszard Lenczewski), who would go on to shoot Cold War, I'm Thinking of Ending Things and most recently The Zone of Interest, every minimal black and white frame of Ida is composed with characters low as huge negative spaces hover above. For a film of such austerity that digs deep into Poland’s tumultuous past, Paweł Pawlikowski’s international breakout is a gentle and tender tale of a woman finding her place in the world and reckoning with its history. Crafted in a style similar to that of Bresson and Dreyer, it's no surprise director and critic Paul Schrader cites Ida as a strong influence on his own film First Reformed – also showing in our Bad Habits series.

Paweł Pawlikowski
Agata Kulesza, Agata Trzebuchowska, Dawid Ogrodnik
82 minutes
Polish with English Subtitles

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