A review of the new Polish film “Cold War”

This is a most unusual but utterly engaging film. Written and directed by Pawel Pawlikowski, it is largely in Polish (although the dialogue is quite sparse) and set mainly in Poland (but with sections in Berlin, Paris and Yugoslavia). It was shot in black and white and in an aspect ratio of 1.37 : 1 so it looks like the period in which it is set (1949 and beyond).

Loosely inspired by the lives of the director’s parents (and dedicated to them), it tells the tragic love story of urbane musician Wiktor (Tomasz Kot) and the younger peasant girl with a special voice Zula (Joanna Kulig) and indeed music of different kinds – Polish folk music, jazz and even some rock – is as frequent and important as the dialogue, while the composition of the scenes is always captivating.

It will truly move you.


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