Cold War (2018)

The torn curtain of love is the theme of Paweł Pawlikowski’s mysterious, musically glorious and visually ravishing film set in cold war Poland and beyond. The crystalline black-and-white cinematography exalts its moments of intimate grimness and its dreamlike showpieces of theatrical display. […] A love a air thrashes and wilts in the freedom of a foreign country, and then begins to submit to the homeland’s doomy gravitational pull. Like Pawlikowski’s previous picture, Ida [HIFF 2014], this is about the dark heart of Poland itself. The wounded love at its centre surfaces from the depths of cynicism, exhaustion and state-sponsored submission and fear.

[…] [P]ianist and composer Wiktor (Tomasz Kot) and the producer Irena (Agata Kulesza), […] have some emotional history together. But Wiktor’s eye is caught by […] Zula (Joanna Kulig). […] Soon, Wiktor and Zula are having a passionate affair and he has made Zula into a star. Their relationship comes to a crisis when they get to perform in East Berlin and there is a perfect opportunity to defect: agreeing to meet in a certain spot at a certain time. Will one of them lose their nerve? […] Will the foreign world of Paris really bring happiness? Is a “cold war” what all relationships finally degenerate into? Or is it that this clenched, fearful world of Poland, with its quasi-miracle of communist showbusiness triumph, was the only real nursery for […] ecstatic love?
There is an exquisite chill to this film.

Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

  • Orig. title: Zimna wojna
  • Language: Polish, French
  • Subtitles: Swedish, Finnish
  • Distribution: Finnkino
  • Cinematography: Łukasz Żal
  • Editing: Jarosław Kamiński