Monday, January 05, 2015
Review of 'Ida'
The film recalled my own trips to Poland - for work, not a concentration-camp pilgrimage - in which I nevertheless kept bumping into the ghosts of the Jewish past of Warsaw. The city had been one-third Jewish, and the "disappearance" of the Jews must have left an enormous hole in its social, cultural and culinary life; but my attempts to discuss this with a Polish colleague were really not welcome. It was also striking the way in which most Poles looked like each other, and how every so often I would see a face that was obviously Jewish.
The novitiate experiences life outside the nunnery, smokes, drinks, has sex with a jazz musician, and then consciously decides to replace her wimple and shows every sign of heading back to the nunnery as the film closes. Yet the cloistered life is not at all presented as ideal. A really complex, nuanced film - I'm really sorry about the bit I missed.