In a Russian coastal town, Kolya is forced to fight the corrupt mayor when he is told that his house will be demolished. He recruits a lawyer friend to help, but the man's arrival brings further misfortune for Kolya and his family.
Georges and Anne are an octogenarian couple. They are cultivated, retired music teachers. Their daughter, also a musician, lives in Britain with her family. One day, Anne has a stroke, and the couple's bond of love is severely tested.
Liège, Belgium. Sandra is a factory worker who discovers that her workmates have opted for a EUR1,000 bonus in exchange for her dismissal. She has only a weekend to convince her colleagues to give up their bonuses in order to keep her job.
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
Flipped image. Near the end, Ida is resting in bed with her head on a pillow, to the left side of the screen. The close up shot is from above looking down and the image is flipped. A small mole that has been on her right cheek throughout the film is, in this shot, on her left side, and returns to her right side in the following shots. See more »
You've no idea of the effect you have, do you?
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Quote from an earlier review: > "Red Hair Wanda" because she ruthlessly adjudged death penalty to a few war criminals
No. She was called Red Wanda (actually "Bloody Wanda" from the original Polish dialog) because she ruthlessly murdered Polish patriots opposed to Stalinist oppression in show trials. Her character was inspired (as revealed by the director in later interviews) by a real-life Helena Wolińska-Brus, originally Fajga Mindla Danielak. The difference is, the original character did not have any moral upheaval, and when Stalinism collapsed and communist party started to fracture, she emigrated to England. She died there at the age of 89. Poland tried to extradite her repeatedly, but to no avail.
I also understand why this film was met with mixed reception in Poland. This is the country where up to 50,000 Poles were murdered by the Nazis for protecting Jews (half of all people honored as "Righteous Among the Nations" by Yad Vashem are Poles). Yet, this movie focuses on a psychopath who murders a Jewish family for material gain. There is not a single positive Polish character in this movie, despite the fact that even the Jewish-Stalinist murderer is painted with warmth and understanding. Considering lack of basic historical education in the West about that period in Poland, I understand why some Poles are dismayed, and why some even call this movie anti-Polish.
As for the movie itself, I found it a bit too predictable and unsatisfying. Still, I give it 5/10 for excellent photography by Ryszard Lenczewski and Lukasz Zal.
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