Nearing the day of her vow to the convent, Anna is brought into the Mother Superior’s office to discuss an opportunity to meet with her aunt before the big day. This was a big opportunity considering that she was an orphan when she arrived at the church. She sends Anna on a trip to meet Wanda and discuss her past before taking the vow. Upon arrival, Wanda is a bit abrasive, but she warms to the idea of helping Anna learn more about her past. Wanda reveals to Anna that her name is really Ida and that she and her parents were actually Jewish. Ida, formerly Anna, decides that she wants to find out how her parents died and visit their graves. Wanda agrees to drive her on the search and help ask around to find out the truth.
Review: The overall feel of this movie happened to be very art school-like, with the two lead actresses having very dichotomous ways about there presence. Agatha Trzebuchowska (Anna/Ida) had an extremely reserved and tempered presence. Her character was inquisitive, with the way that she seemed to stop and soak in the world around her; but she was also extremely quiet and conflicted, as she had to take in a lot of earth-shattering information in such a short period of time. For Agata Kulesza (Wanda), her character was more outgoing and confrontational. Considering that Wanda was a former prosecutor, she pushed her will in several moments with the townspeople in her investigation.
The film looked at the challenge of having one’s world turned upside down with news from the past that challenges choices for the future. Ida had pursued Catholicism nearly her entire life without the understanding of her Jewish past. While learning this could have changed her path immediately, it only caused her to learn more before attempting to return to her life of worship. On the journey, she learned the reality of what happened to her family and why the journey was so important for Wanda. Once the journey was over, doubt set in and caused her to question whether she could continue her Catholic life.
Wanda’s journey was secondary to the film but still an important one to be told. Ida’s arrival was an excuse to go find the truth about the young boy in the photo with Ida’s parents. While it was not the biggest surprise, she was searching for answers about her son. Learning the truth seemed to not have an effect on her initially, but her suicide revealed that she felt like she had nothing left.
The film has a someone dreary, slow pace, but it is also quite powerful.
Dan’s Rating: 3.5/5