MESSAGE IN THE MOVIES
Rated PG-13 (In Polish with subtitles.) Starring Agata Kulesza, Agata Trzebuchowsha.
On DVD, Netflix, Amazon Prime, iTunes, Google Play and other streaming services.
It is 1962 in Poland and Anna (Trzebuchowsha), a young novitiate nun, is preparing to receive her vows for full time service. She is called into the mother superior’s office and informed that it would be a good idea for Anna to travel by train to meet her aunt before making her decision as a bride of Christ. Anna didn’t know that she had an aunt; she had been left at the convent as an infant.
There is much that Anna needs to learn about her family history and her guide is her aunt Wanda (Kulesza), her mother’s sister, who became a prosecutor in Communist Poland after the war. Wanda is a heavy smoker, an alcoholic, and lives a promiscuous life in her dingy apartment. Wanda shares a couple of things with Anna right from the start. To begin with, Anna’s name is actually Ida. And she is Jewish.
At first, Wanda is ready to let Anna return to the convent, but has a change of heart. The two women go on a road trip to visit places from the past that will uncover some dark and troubling secrets. Neither woman is prepared for the revelations to come.
Anna/Ida is a woman of purity, innocence and grace and Wanda is a woman who battles with her inner demons. As the light shines in the darkness, will God make a way or will the sins of the past be too much to bear?
Ida is a beautiful gem of a film. The dialogue is spare and the pace is measured, and the scenes are filmed in beautiful black and white. The movie is not only a meditation on the Holocaust, but is first of all a moving depiction of one person’s spiritual journey.
Ida is only 80 minutes long, but its images and story are so powerful I have viewed it three times. If you are a Netflix or Amazon Prime subscriber, it is available for free streaming.
Although the film is rated PG-13, I would not recommend it for younger viewers, but would highly recommend it for older youth (16 and up) and adults. Even if you tend to stay away from subtitled films, I hope that you will consider going on the powerful and moving journey with Ida.
Five halos: The problem of evil and the presence of God meet one another in a beautifully understated and poetic film.
Four pitchforks: Mature themes of genocide, promiscuity, alcoholism, and totalitarian government; one scene of implied sexual activity; brief nudity.
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Rev. Bruce Batchelor-Glader
COMMENTS! Do you have comments about this movie or movie review?
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