Ida

A young Polish woman, brought up in a Catholic orphanage right after the war, is about to become a nun.  Just before she takes her final vows, she gets two astonishing revelations — she has an aunt, and she was born Jewish.  She contacts the aunt, and after some initial reluctance the two women decide to visit their erstwhile village to find out what happened to the rest of their family.

You may think that everything important to say about the Holocaust has already been said — but then a movie like this comes along and punches you in the gut, by making you really feel the pain of a single family’s losses.  It also addresses, unusually, the plight of the survivors, who have lost not only their relatives but their entire world.

Shot in black and white, this film takes a quiet approach to its momentous subject, and is all the more effective for that. Highly recommended.

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