When 18-year old nun, Anna about to take her vows, is forced by her Mother Superior to meet with her only living relative, her aunt, Wanda, she does so reluctantly. She meets with her aunt who divulges the secret that she is Jewish & named Ida. Together with her aunt, Anna voyages to discover how her parents died and where they were buried.
Running Time:
82 min
Release date:
12 February 2014
Directed by:
Paweł Pawlikowski
Produced by:
Eric Abraham
Piotr Dzieciol
Ewa Puszczynska
Written by:
Rebecca Lenkiewicz
Paweł Pawlikowski
Agata Trzebuchowska
Agata Kulesza
Joanna Kulig
Dawid Ogrodnik
Adam Szyszkowski
Jerzy Trela
Music by:
Kristian Eidnes Andersen
Shot by:
Łukasz Żal
Ryszard Lenczewski
Edited by:
Jaroslaw Kaminski
Distributed by:

What’s Hot

  • The characterization of a starkly different Anna and her aunt Wanda is brilliant which is established when both of them react differently to a given situation. Sample when they go to the village & when they get apprehended by the police, the way both of them conduct themselves in terms of dialogue & body language is fantastic.
  • Agata Trzebuchowska who plays Anna/Ida, is a wonderful find. Her calm demeanor & poise, expressive & almost hypnotic eyes, her curiosity about normal life, the way she discovers herself while uncovering her tragic past have been fabulously written & performed with minimal dialogues. Agata Kulesza who plays the promiscuous Aunt Wanda Gruz provides the perfect foil to Anna. She moves effortlessly from opinionated brash behavior to superior intelligence through sarcasm to exhibiting true love for her niece.
  • The experienced Paweł Pawlikowski shines in his handling of the bleak drama set in 1960s Poland, the era of Communist rule and modernization which raises questions on faith, guilt and forgiveness. One instance where he scores is when the protagonist questions her lover about their future & proceeds to flippantly dismiss his idyllic answer.
  • The film is beautifully shot in black & white, in an unusual, box-like aspect ratio of 1.37:1. The characters depicted off-centre in the frame, long pauses, minimal movement indicate the camera-operator turned cinematographer Lukasz Zal’s affinity for the ‘Bresson-esque’ style. A special mention too to the poetic way he has filmed ‘smoke’ throughout the film.

What’s Not

  • One would have liked more screen time for the person responsible for the killing of Anna’s family to delve deeper into his thought-process behind such a horrendous crime for material gain. There is also some criticism on the film for failing to delve deeper into key pieces of information that summarized the Holocaust in Poland.



Verdict Stamp

'Ida' is grim account of the journey of a nun who discovers herself in her quest for the truth. It is replete with spellbinding visuals raising questions on faith, guilt, materialism and forgiveness.