A girl of eighteen or so is about to take vows to become a nun. It’s Poland, maybe 1961. The Mother Superior calls her in and tells her she has to visit her only living relative, an aunt. “Do I have to?” she asks. Yes, she does – and so, soon she learns that her parents were Jewish and murdered during WWII.

This is the basis for Pawel Pawlikowski’s Ida.

If Schindler’s List is a kind of War and Peace of Holocaust films – it is the story, the epic telling – Ida is a perfect short story. So many of its black and white images are beautifully set up. You leave the cinema and the whole film flowers out. And the music – The music is gorgeous – there’s a transcription of Bach to the piano near the end…And Ida is walking towards you like something out of Truffaut…

The whole thing is so sad – and I don’t even know how much I rate Ida herself – but her aunt – you could go just to see Agata Kulesza play her aunt…

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