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Bishops Castle Film Society

Cold War - 20th November 2019


Pawel Pawlikowski, Poland/France/UK, 2018, 88m

In this beautifully shot black and white film Pawlikowski (director of Ida) tells the partially fictionalised story of the relationship between his parents Wiktor and Zula in a series of episodes covering a period of 20 years. Their turbulent relationship has its own push-pull dynamic, always complicated, and sometimes driven by, the political backdrop of communist post-war Poland and Cold War Europe.


Wiktor is a musician who meets the spirited Zula while setting up a troupe of singers and dancers which he hopes will keep Polish folk traditions alive, an enterprise rapidly subverted by communist overseers. Over the years as Wiktor and Zula pursue their musical careers their lives come together and drift apart again across borders and regimes, sometimes supporting and sometimes betraying each other, until they reach a moving resolution. Among many other awards, Cold War won the prize for Best Director at Cannes 2018.

“Luscious monochrome photography and an unimprovable cast” [Tony Rayns, BFI Reviews, December 2018]

“Over and over, the couple is separated by borders and ideologies…. Through every separation and complication… the characters remain fatefully drawn to each other.” [Elaina Patton, The New Yorker, December 2018]



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