Writer/Director Pawel Pawlikowski’s Cold War is a sullen, but haunting, Slavic love story that takes place between 1949 and 1964.
Zula (Joanna Kulig) is a singer/dancer and Wiktor (Tomasz Kot) is an impresario/pianist, initially at a Polish school for young performers. The two form a sad/happy/sad relationship that moves from a behind the Iron Curtain to Paris and back again over the next 15 years.
Pawlikowski captures the stark reality of the Cold War period thanks in large part to Cinematographer Lukasz Zal’s exquisite black & white palette.
The film, Pawlikowski and Zal have been nominated for Academy Awards, the former as Best Foreign Film.
It’s poignant viewing and, if nothing else, should be remembered for a classic line, when Wiktor asks Zula if she really killed her father. Her response: “He mistook me for my mother, but I took a knife to show him he was mistaken.”
I give Cold War a 4.2 out of 5.