Movie Review: Ida

Following my fascination of life in convents and nuns after watching The Little Hours, I searched for movies about the topic. I came across this Polish movie called Ida, and I absolutely loved it. It’s about a young woman preparing to be a nun and it has a big surprise. 

The movie takes place in Poland. It is 1962. Ida is preparing to become a nun and she has a week or two before she vows. She is getting calls and letters from her aunt, whom she never met. She grew up in an orphanage. One day, she decided to contact her aunt and visited her. There, she learned that she is Jewish and that her parents died during the 2. World War. From there, she decided to take on a journey to learn about her parents with her aunt. They went to their old village and found the place where they were buried. Meanwhile, Ida fell in love with a musician (Lis) she met while they were staying in a hotel there. She slept with him but returned to the convent the next morning. 

The movie is certainly depressing. The fact that it is black – and – white contributes a lot to this feeling. Usually I find these types of movies hard to watch, the topic must be interesting enough for me to watch. Luckily, this movie got me right off the hook. Another thing was post-war architecture and general atmosphere. They screamed of poverty, pain, and a lack of hope and all things good. Her aunt was always smoking, even when she was bathing. Smoking when a person is older always makes me think that they have a lot of problems. But I think it was the feeling that the director tried to give because those times must be depressing in Poland. 

One thing which makes me wonder as I write this review was her reaction to learning that she was a Jew. I think that part was kind of shallow. I didn’t really understand how she took that. Did she hate herself because Jews were the ones who killed Jesus? Was she surprised? Was it something which changed her outlook on life, on others, on herself? 

The last thing I want to comment on is Ida’s return to convent. When she was chatting with Lis, she was always asking “What next?” to him. Lis was saying we would get a house, get a dog, have children and she was always asking that question. I think she found that lifestyle kind of dull, without purpose, empty. Nunnery sets a purpose in life, they serve for God and it has a known trajectory. You vow, you pray all day, maybe become a headnun (is that even a thing?) when you get old and die peacefully. Life isn’t that way. We try to get into a good university and get a good job but it doesn’t work that way sometimes. Sometimes we get tired of our partner and maybe have a divorce. Sometimes the economic situation in our country is not good and we become unhappy with our life. But nuns are always nuns no matter the economic situation or other factors which affect a person’s life. It is an occupation (can we call it an occupation? i don’t know) which is stable and known. 

To sum it up, Ida is a very good depressive movie you can watch. I loved it. I usually love these types of independent movies which handle religious topics. If you have any recommendations for such movies, please comment down below 🙂

Agata Trzebuchowska in Ida

2 thoughts on “Movie Review: Ida

  1. That’s my favourite among the ones you posted until now. But don’t get me wrong I liked all your posts. You caught the details in the movie brilliantly. Well done and keep up the good work. I can recommend couple of films later here.

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