Ida, the Polish film directed by Pawel Pawlikowski, won the best foreign language film award in the 87the Oscar Awards last February 22—two weeks after winning the same category in the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) awards.
The film has also won prestigious Polish and European industry awards, including best film awarded by the Polish Film Academy and best film awarded by the European Film Academy.
The film is set in 1960s Polish People’s Republic and follows the story of Anna, a young novice nun who is told by her prioress that before her vows can be taken, she must visit her family. Anna travels to visit her aunt Wanda, a judge and former prosecutor associated with the Stalinist regime responsible for oppressing Polish anti-communists resistance soldiers. The aunt reveals that Anna’s actual name is Ida Lebenstein and that her parents were Jewish and were murdered during World War II. Ida decides to find her parents’ resting place. She and her aunt embark on a journey that both sheds light on their past and decides their futures.
The film stars Agata Trzebuchowska as Ida and Agata Kulesza as Wanda. The screenplay was written by Rebecca Lenkiewicz, an English playwright, and the director. The character of Wanda is based on Helena Wolinska-Brus whom Pawlikowski met in the 1980s while she was living in England.
A review of 34 awards, including those given by film critics’ associations, circles and societies, revealed the dominance of two films in the best foreign language film category. These are Ida and Force Majeure, a Swedish film directed by Ruben Ostlund. Ida and Force Majeure won 12 awards each.
Two other foreign language films snagged five and two awards, respectively. These are Two Days, One Night, a Belgian film directed by the Dardenne Brothers, with five awards, and We are the Best, a Swedish-Danish film directed by Lukas Moodysson, with two awards.
Winning one award each were The Raid 2, an Indonesian film directed by Gareth Evans; Wild Tales, an Argentine film directed by Damian Szifron; Goodbye to Language, a French-Swiss film directed by Jean-Luc Goddard; and Leviathan, a Russian film directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev.
At the Oscar Awards, Ida bested four other nominees, namely Leviathan, Wild Tales, Tangerines, an Estonian film directed by Zaza Urushadze; and Timbuktu, a Mauritanian film directed by Abderrhmaze Sissako.
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