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.Written by
When Ida is in a church, the priest seems to be getting ready to say Mass and we see a versus populum altar, which didn't become the norm until years later after Vatican II. The movie takes place in 1961 and the priest would have been saying Mass on the high altar. See more »
What sort of sacrifice are these vows of yours?
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Composed by John Coltrane in 1959, from album "Giant Steps" released by Atlantic Records in 1960. See more »
As moving as sad
In the 60's Poland, a few days before pronouncing her vows of poverty, chastity and obedience to end her probation period and officially become a nun, Anna, an orphaned young woman, learns by chance the existence of her aunt, Wanda. The Mother Superior propose to Anna to meet Wanda. In this respect, she offers her to take all the necessary time. This encounter will turn her life upside down, via a journey of self-discovery and a road trip through rural Poland, in search of lost time. Lost forever...
Shot in gorgeous black and white, this film is a disconcerting beauty while remaining simple and pure, with a neat photography, elegant and appropriate framings highlighting the emptiness and the sadness of certain existences, and a careful treatment of natural light. Then, the two main actresses, Agata Kulesza and Agata Trzebuchowska, are prodigious and complement each other wonderfully. Finally, the script is excellently and soberly written, and, even if the film is hard and deals with an unpleasant subject, the staging is simple and anything but egghead. As a synthesis, the film is a masterpiece.
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