Catch up with a recent film experience in our summer series. Today, 2013 film "Ida," about a young orphan on the trail of her family's history.
On the verge of committing to life in the nunnery where she was brought up, Anna is required to visit any remaining family first.
Setting out for the home of her formidable but worn out aunt Wanda, a former Polish state prosecutor, she discovers a lineage traced back to the tumult of mid-20th-century Germany.
The pair agree to depart for that neighboring country, as both leads embark on an exploration of commitments to clan relatives and idealized causes.
Both together and apart they confront deeds of the past and feel out possible paths into the future; a black and white roadtrip hinges on the significance of what become grey-area decisions -- especially upon the introduction of outgoing saxophonist musician Lis and his attempts to unravel Anna's coccoon.
Pawlikowski drew praise for his direction of "Last Resort" and "My Summer of Love," having previously steered the documentary "Dostoevsky's Travels," following a grand author's great grandson on a speculative tour of Europe.
Equally worthy of mention is his collaboration here with cinematographers Lukasz Zal and Ryszard Lenczewski who, upon Pawlikowski's first feature shot in his native Poland, ensure our our lead characters' moving personal discoveries are kept in the foreground, with their somber geographical, historical odyssey serving as backdrop.
Following its worldwide debut at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival, "Ida" then received the event's International Critics' Award, with further recognition following at the Warsaw International Film Festival, Polish Film Festival and Polish Film Awards.
Directed by Pawel Pawlikowski
Starring Agata Trzebuchowska, Agata Kulesza
"Ida" official trailer: vimeo.com/73132743