section Break or continuity? "Anti-Zionism" and anti-Semitism under socialism and afterwards


  • Paweł Pawlikowski
  • PL
  • 2013
  • 80

Shortly before her vows, the young novice nun and orphan Anna learns that her real name is Ida and that she is of Jewish descent. On a subsequent journey she explores not only her own past, but also a chapter of Polish history. IDA received the European Film Academy's award for Best European Film in 2014 and the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 2015.

Anna's only remaining relative, the disillusioned former prosecutor Wanda, travels with her to the place where she lived with her family as a child. Before ending up in the care of nuns, she and her family had been hidden from the Nazis by non-Jewish neighbours. Soon however, the suspicion arises that it wasn't German Nazis but instead Poles who murdered her relatives.

Pawlikowski set his feature film in the People's Republic of Poland of the 1960s and adapted the work's aesthetics to the time – captured in black and white, with a narrow aspect ratio, sparse soundtrack and static camera. His formally ostentatious yet richly layered Oscar-winning film has already established itself as a timeless classic and contributed - a year after the release of the thematically similar drama "Pokłosie" ("Gleanings" or "Aftermath") by Władysław Pasikowski – to renewed debate about anti-Semitism, collaboration and the possible involvement of Polish citizens in the Shoah.

Text: Rainer Mende
English: Peter Rickerby


original title Ida

international title Ida

german title Ida

JFBB section Break or continuity? "Anti-Zionism" and anti-Semitism under socialism and afterwards

  • director Paweł Pawlikowski

country/countries PL

year 2013

duration 80

Portrait of Paweł  Pawlikowski

Paweł Pawlikowski

BIO Filmmaker and BAFTA award winner Pawel Pawlikowski was born in Warsaw. He left his native Poland at the age of 14, moved to Germany, then to Italy, before finally moving to England, where he has lived since 1977. He studied literature and philosophy in London and Oxford and made his first films in the mid-1980s, initially documentaries for the BBC. His best-known works from this period are From Moscow to Pietushki, Dostoevsky's Travels, Serbian Epics and Tripping with Zhirinovsky, for which he was awarded an Emmy, the Prix Italia, the Grierson Prize and two Royal Television Society Awards, among others. In 1998, Pawlikowski made his first television film Twockers, which he made together with Ian Duncan and which drew heavily on his documentary film experience. This was followed by the two feature films Last Resort and My Summer of Love. He wrote and directed both and won BAFTAs and awards at international festivals for both.