Perth Concert Hall - Horsecross Arts Ltd Perth
“Cold War” (Zimna wojna) is a 2018 historical epic and a passionate love story directed by Paweł Pawlikowski (who also gave us “Ida” enjoyed by PFS in autumn 2015). Set in the depths of the Cold War and spanning 15 turbulent years, the story takes us from the Polish countryside to the streets of East Berlin, and from Paris to Yugoslavia, across boundaries that are musical, geographical, and political. The result is a sweeping Polish-British-French drama that reminds of great films like “Casablanca” and “Brief Encounter”, about deep, obsessive and potentially destructive love.
The film opens in 1949, in rural post-war Poland. Musical director Wiktor (Tomasz Kot) and Irena (Agata Kulesza) are auditioning musicians and dancers for a state-sponsored folk music ensemble to showcase the authentic sounds of Poland. Into these auditions comes Zula (Joanna Kulig), an ambitious, captivating, and head-strong young woman who is faking a peasant identity and is on probation after attacking her abusive father. Wiktor is blown away by her performance of a Russian movie song in place of the required Polish mountain tune. Under pressure from bureaucrats to use playlists that support the Communist and Stalinist propaganda machine, and even to become spies, Wiktor and Zula dream of escaping to the creative freedom of the West. When the troupe travels to Berlin, they spot their chance to run for Paris, forcing both to make a snap decision.
The film was inspired by the real-life Mazowsze troupe and the lives of Pawlikowski's parents. Sumptuously shot in luminous black and white, the film tells an impossible love story set in impossible times, with a glorious soundtrack that takes you from Polish folk music to the sultry jazz of a Paris basement bar. It is a wistful and dreamlike journey through a divided continent, and a heart-breaking portrait of ill-fated love.
Pawlikowski’s tale of love in a communist climate received an 18 minute standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival 2018, before going on to win the award for Best Director. Critics have commented that the story blends the personal with the political to exquisite effect, the cast could not be improved, and the production design and cinematography are consistently spot-on. Hardly surprising then that “Cold War” has attracted so many other additional nominations and awards, including Best Film, Director, and Actress at the European Awards in 2018, Best Foreign Language film that same year from the National Board of Review, and the Belgian Film Critics Grand Prix in 2019.
Tickets & Information
Refreshments for ticket holders will include Eastern European wine supplied by sponsor Exel Wines, and nibbles from the Polish bakery Love of Loaves in South Methven Street.
Cert 15; 2018; 89 min; Polish
About Perth Film Society
Perth Film Society is a Perthshire based cinema group that gives film fans the chance to see little-known and cult movies on the big screen. This season, the team behind the has hand-picked some international gems for its new season and has added a couple of additions to its usual programme of 7 films.
These include Kes, to coincide with the Perth Theatre production, and a retrospective of "Thelma and Louise" in conjunction with Perth and Kinross Violence Against Women Partnership. Look out for more details coming soon.