A powerful drama in which a young nun on the verge of taking her vows discovers a dark family secret dating back to the years of the Nazi occupation.
In Poland, in 1962, beautiful 18-year-old Anna is preparing to become a nun at the convent where she has lived since being orphaned as a child. She learns she has a living relative she must visit before taking her vows: her mother’s sister, Wanda. Together, the two women embark on a voyage of discovery – of each other and their past.
Anna learns that her aunt is not only a former hardline Communist state prosecutor, notorious for sentencing priests and others to death, but also a Jew. She also discovers that she, too, is Jewish – and that her real name is Ida. This sets Anna, now Ida, on a journey to uncover her roots and confront the truth about her family.
Ida has to choose between her birth identity and the religion that saved her from the massacres of the Nazi occupation of Poland. And Wanda must confront decisions she made during the war when she chose loyalty to the cause before family.
A beautifully shot drama in glorious monochrome and with a wonderfully understated performance by first-time actor Agata Trzebuchowska, Ida has achieved huge success on the festival circuit.
“There is an implicit argument here between faith and materialism, one that is resolved with wit, conviction and generosity of spirit. Pawlikowski has made one of the finest European films (and one of most insightful films about Europe, past and present) in recent memory.”
– New York Times