Dir. Paweł Pawlikowski, 2013

Oscar for Best International Feature Film.
Oscar nominee for Best Cinematography (Łukasz Żal).

A moving, intimate film by Paweł Pawlikowski, which takes us back to his home country. With great sensitivity, the director sketches a portrait of two women, combining them in an intimate story with historical and social background.

Crash with the past of a young woman who leaves the monastery in order to visit her aunt before taking her final vows, becomes a flashpoint for an investigation that leads towards ambiguous allegations and paths of religious reflection when the title Ida Lebenstein (Agata Trzebuchowska) discovers her Jewish roots. Her symbolic voyage into the past infects also her aunt, Wanda (Agata Kulesza), who makes an examination of her conscience by reminiscing about her role as a judge who sentenced enemies of the people to the maximum punishment. The Stalinist prosecutor helps the future nun in her investigation and her attempt at finding the real graves of her family. It turns out that her relatives were shot to death by the Poles who were hiding them in fear of the possible reaction of the Germans.

Special mention should be given to Łukasz Żal's cinematography which precisely captures what is often unspoken, full of mystery or nostalgia. Precise, even clinical, compositions often express more than words could.

You can read more about the film at the IMDB.com online database

46 Legionów Str.

A tram with Anna (Agata Trzebuchowska) on board goes along Legionów Street. Anna, probably for the first time, sees the landscape of the city to which she has come in order to meet her only living relative, aunt Wanda Gruz, before taking her religious vows.

Tenement house
13 Dowborczyków Str.

The flat that belonged to Wanda Gruz (Agata Kulesza), the aunt of the main protagonist, was located in that tenement house. On the eve of taking her religious vows, Anna (Agata Trzebuchowska) unexpectedly visits Wanda. In the course of the conversation, Anna learns from her aunt that she is a Jewess and that her name is, in fact, Ida Lebenstein. Later on, the location reappears on screen many times.

The Church of St. Joseph

22 Ogrodowa Str.

The interiors of the church in Ogrodowa Street appear in the film in a short scene in which Ida (Agata Trzebuchowska) visits the temple after her first visit at the farm that used to belong to the Lebensteins.

ul. Rzgowska 50a

The interiors of the pavilion appear in Pawlikowski’s film as the banquet hall in the Świt hotel in Szydłów. On the occasion of the town’s “birthday”, the inhabitants organise dances, during which the saxophonist Lis’s (Dawid Ogrodnik) band plays.

Tenement houses
54 Wróblewskiego Str.

In the tenement house at this address there is a flat in which Ida (Agata Trzebuchowska) and Wanda (Agata Kulesza) unsuccessfully search for Szymon Skiba, the man who hid the Lebensteins in the forest during the war.

66 Rewolucji 1905 roku Str.

The interiors of the deserted building were used in Pawlikowski’s film as a hospital ward where Szymon Skiba (Jerzy Trela) spends his final days. Ida (Agata Trzebuchowska) and Wanda (Agata Kulesza) visit him and try to learn what exactly happened to Ida’s parents during the war.

29 Zmienna Str.

At this address, opposite the walls of the Jewish cemetery in Łódź, there is the gate of the film necropolis where Anna and Wanda come to put the Lebensteins’ remains in the family tomb

Doły Cemetery

The scene of Wanda Gruz’s funeral was filmed in the municipal cemetery in Doły. During the funeral, Ida (Agata Trzebuchowska) meets Lis (Dawid Ogrodnik) once again.


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