By Lungz Mathupha
When a movie bags the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, there’s high expectation surrounding the hype. This year’s winner is Polish film by Pawel Pawlikowski, titled Ida – and it delivered with a truly captivating narrative.
The film is set in 1962 and follows beautiful 18-year-old Anna – a young nun preparing to take her vows at the convent that brought her up since being an orphaned child. Her Mother Superior informs her of her last living relative, a stern aunt, and ships her off to stay with her. The two women embark on a journey into the past, and it’s during this time that Anna discovers herself as Ida.
What’s right with it? It’s beautiful – from the authentic shots, the enigmatic and haunting story line to the simplicity of black and white viewing and moving music.
What’s wrong with it? Naturally with suspense, there are parts that drag a bit.
Verdict: As the first Polish feature to win an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, after many tries – bravo Pawlikowski. This gripping story feels like enjoying a fine French wine – deep, meaningful and with the lingering feeling of having gone by too soon. It’s great art and definitely worth watching.
Ida is part of the 10-day European Film Festival at Ster Kinekor Cinema Nouveau Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town and Durban. The festival is presented by the French Institute and Ster Kinekor under the theme ‘A Woman’s world’. Screenings of 12 films including Amour Fou (Austria), Two Days, One Night (Belgium), 3 Hearts (France) and of course, Ida (Poland) will be aired from 8-17 May 2015.