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Pawel Pawlikowski, director of the Oscar-winning IDA returns with the exquisite COLD WAR. A tumultuous love story between two people who despite their mutual passion, are fatefully mismatched. The film won him Best Director at Cannes and has received ecstatic reviews.
Loosely inspired by Pawlikowski’s parents, it’s set against the oppressive background of the Cold War across Poland, Berlin, Yugoslavia and Paris, following singer Zula (the effortlessly magnetic Joanna King) and pianist Wiktor (Tomasz Kot) from their first meeting over the ensuing 15 years.
Endlessly drawn to each other, they are unable to co-exist but equally unable to move on. The film’s very structure – particularly through the use of narrative ellipses – serves to compound their bond as Zula rises to fame, as they perform across Eastern Europe (the film includes some brilliantly choreographed musical set-pieces) and realise they must find a way to slip past the Iron Curtain, and soon.
A moving, searching and highly personal film from Pawlikowski, both stands alone and feels like something of a companion piece to IDA; again using silvery monochrome cinematography by Lukasz Zal, and again depicting both the dark heart of Poland and how it’s 20th century political wounds echoed through the emotional lives of its subjects.