Poland, 1962. Anna, an orphan brought up by nuns in the convent, is a novice. She has to see Wanda, the only living relative, before she takes her vows. Wanda tells Anna about her Jewish roots. Both women start a journey not only to find their family's tragic story, but to see who they really are and where they belong. They question what they used to believe in. Both of them are trying to go on living but only one eventually can. Written by
Ida is magnificent, it will stay with me a long time. The narrative is powerfully compelling and yet if it had been a non-narrative film I would have been spellbound by the images alone. They should make a coffee table book of stills from it. Huge emotional issues are dealt with in a remarkably understated, unsentimental, but appropriate way. The use of music (often my pet peeve in these days of Hollywood formula) is enlightened and illustrative. I don't think the ending is ambiguous, I'm not sure the writer who wrote that understood it. Perhaps there is something slightly facile about the way things wrap up in the last 15 minutes of the film, but this is only in comparison with how beautifully they are laid out before that. Enough, this is not really a review, it is an exhortation - Go see Ida!
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