Cold War is a multi-award winning film of two mismatched lovers with different backgrounds and temperament who fall in love in post-war Poland.
The story takes place throughout the Cold War period, spanning 1950s and 1960s.
Wiktor Warski (Tomasz Kot) leads a crew documenting folk music. He and colleague Irena (Agata Kulesza) are looking for local talent to make up a group of singers, dancers and musicians for a group called Mazousze, founded by the government.
He is attracted to beautiful peasant girl Zula Lichon (Joanna Kulig) who sings, “Thank you heart for knowing how to love like this,” in her audition.
She says she can learn to dance, and is selected for the choir. What she doesn’t say is that she is on parole after murdering her father – later explaining, “He mistook me for my mother, so I showed him the difference with a knife.”
As Wiktor and Zula embark on a passionate relationship, a government representative sees that the group could be singing propaganda songs in praise of Stalin and communist ideals. The group is sent to tour Berlin.
Wiktor finds his position intolerable and makes plans for them both to escape to West Berlin, but things do not go as planned.
The lovers spend the next 10 years falling apart and coming together again in Paris, Berlin, Yugoslavia and Poland. There are joyful reunions that turn sour. Kula is tempestuous and melancholic while Wiktor is more intellectual and enjoys his musical creativity and freedom. They cannot be happy together or apart.
Director Pawel Paulikowski (Oska winning Ida) based this film very loosely on the life of his parents, who died in 1989, just before the fall of the Berlin wall, and it is dedicated to them.
It is wonderfully shot and edited in black and white on a smaller than usual, square screen and the actors give committed performances. A great soundtrack by Marcin Masecke plays a big part.
Leaving the theatre, the themes of culture and the role of government, individual freedom, compromise, and the idea of love, go with you.
Showing at UWA Somerville from Monday 7thto Sunday 13thJanuary at 8 pm.
ECU Joondalup Pines from Tuesday 15thto Sunday 20th at 8 pm.
Watch the trailer…