Dir: Pawel Pawlikowski




The latest from Pawel Pawlikowski, director of My Summer of Love and Last Resort, is an austere, exquisite black-and-white drama filmed in Pawlikowski’s native Poland; and winner of the inaugural BFI London Film Festival 2014’s ‘Best Film’ Grand Prix.

It’s set in 1960, with Anna, a young novice nun who is sent to visit her hitherto unknown aunt Wanda – a judge nicknamed ‘Red Wanda’ for her zeal as a former prosecutor of enemies of the state; a tough, high-functioning alcoholic whose louche lifestyle is in stark contrast to Anna’s cloistered, naïf existence.

Dispassionately revealing that Anna was born into a Jewish family as Ida Lebenstein, and that her parents were murdered during the war, she takes her niece with her on a road trip to find their resting place.

Along the way Anna/Ida learns more of her aunt’s past, as well as her parents’ and develops a new curiosity about the world she is about to close herself off from.

Admirably incorporating various elements – it is at turns a road movie, a coming-of-age story and a portrait of a country trying to evolve past Stalinist bleakness while still burdened by terrible WWII secrets – it never preaches and never over-explains; Pawlikowski choosing instead to show with delicacy, humour and luminous simplicity the way in which these women must navigate lives irrevocably affected by history.

Booking Information


Curzon Film

Release Date

26 September 2014

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