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Thoughts on "Ida" (Polish movie)


ctvn 3 | 4
1 Nov 2013 #1
I have just seen last nite "Ida" (Polish movie, release date 25-Oct); the movie is available throughout the international network of cinema theaters with English subtitles.

IMDB link: imdb.com/title/tt2718492/?ref_=nv_sr_2

Has anyone else seen it? What are your thoughts about it. I must confess I had to do some readings after seeing the movie because I was not familiar with the Communist regime of the early 1960's in Poland, and neither did I know much about the role of the Polish peasants in the killing of Jews (rather, I knew quite a lot about Polish peasants named among the Righteous who saved Jews).
Looker - | 1,050
20 Oct 2014 #2
The movie is presenting the story of a young Jewish girl and her aunt - a fierce communists, against the realities of post-war Polish - the sixties. It takes only 80 min., but it's enough to finish all plots. The movie has collected many awards in Poland and abroad - deservedly so, I think. Beautiful pictures and acting.
Lyzko 25 | 7,009
2 Mar 2015 #3
Merged: Any Thoughts about the Polish Oscar Winner "Ida" from our Polish compatriots out there?

Although I haven't yet seen it, I understand from reading our local Polish-language tageblatts, as well as actual Polish journals, that this film has attracted QUITE some little stir over in Poland.

While we're on the subject, anyone wish to voice their opinions on the film "Kret" made a number of years back about the "ghosts" of the Solidarność Era and her opponents?

I'm really curious to know what you all think!
Roger5 1 | 1,458
3 Mar 2015 #4
The film is not popular among people who prefer to see the world in black and white. History is as complex as the people who make it, but some find it more comforting to simplify matters according to their prejudices (see the pro-Russian comments on this forum). Ida is a superb film on several levels, and is further evidence that some Poles are beginning to address the many-faceted nature of difficult recent historical events and to come to terms with them.
Vox - | 175
3 Mar 2015 #5
History might be complex but it doesn't mean it has to be twisted. Let me ask you why there is no movies about British paratroopers landing in Germany and joying as guards at the Auschwitz concentration camp. Hey after all there was so called Britisches Freikorps and history is complex. Maybe you should make it and then when you can get all the prise for being able to address the many-faceted nature of difficult recent historical events and to come to terms with them. How about it?
jon357 63 | 15,064
3 Mar 2015 #6
Britisches Freikorps

All 27 of them, never "paratroopers landing in Germany and 'joying' as guards at the Auschwitz" - that's just a lie., and dealt with very firmly. Far more Poles on that side in the war, but no Free Corps since the far right had very strong views about the place of Poles in the world.

With the film Ida, nothing is "twisted". They were very complicated times and a hard place to be. As Roger says, it may be uncomfortable for people who see the world in black and white. The bad stuff is all well documented, however uncomfortable that is for some.
Roger5 1 | 1,458
3 Mar 2015 #7
Vox, if you visited any school history department in the UK, you'd probably be surprised at the things modern kids learn about. Even when I was in primary school we learned about the British slave trade, and I'm talking about 1972! Nowadays, most British people are well aware of the shameful episodes of their country's history. It's a sign of a mature country.
Vox - | 175
3 Mar 2015 #8
"All 27 of them, never "paratroopers landing in Germany and 'joying' as guards at the Auschwitz" - that's just a lie."

I see that some find it more comforting to simplify matters according to their prejudices .
"With the film Ida, nothing is "twisted". "
Have you seen it>?
"it may be uncomfortable for people who see the world in black and white."
Like a hypothetical film about British volunteering for a guard duty in Auschwitz might be uncomfortable for you?
"The bad stuff is all well documented, however uncomfortable that is for some"
What bad stuff? Let be explicit here.
jon357 63 | 15,064
3 Mar 2015 #9
I see that some find it more comforting to simplify matters according to their prejudices .

Simplify? There were never more than 27 at a tine. How is that simplifying anything?

Like a hypothetical film about British volunteering for a guard duty in Auschwitz might be uncomfortable for you?

Not uncomfortable at all, especially since nothing like that ever happened - if it had, it would be very well discussed as the tiny number of collaborators were. In Poland, when that book of denunciation letters from Poles to the wartime occupiers (grassing up people in the resistance, denouncing people as Jewish etc) came out a few years ago, the publisher even censored the surnames!

What bad stuff? Let be explicit here.

The bad stories are very well documented by survivors. Why not use the search function here, or google some of the eye-witness accounts?
Vox - | 175
3 Mar 2015 #10
Vox, if you visited any school history department in the UK, you'd probably be surprised at the things modern kids learn about. Even when I was in primary school we learned about the British slave trade, and I'm talking about 1972! Nowadays, most British people are well aware of the shameful episodes of their country's history. It's a sign of a mature country.

Excuse me, I might be wrong here. Has our conversations took a wrong turn while I wasn't looking? Does it pertains historical education, historical facts or a certain movie and its rather an odd take on things and history of Poland?

I must confess watching the film has been an almost exhausting chore. Not due to its historical uncomfortable trues whether they may be but due to the amount of ahistorical twists of action and completely unreliable story.

"Not uncomfortable at all, especially since nothing like that ever happened"
A hypothetical movie about British paratroopers landing in Germany and joying as guards at the Auschwitz concentration camp would have been as much historically accurate as the film you most likely haven't seen.

"The bad stories are very well documented by survivors"
How does it answer my ply for a detailed facts?
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
3 Mar 2015 #11
"Ida" is a great film in many ways. In Poland, extremists on either side have tried to ideologise it. The right claims it is anti-Polish because it deals with the Holocaust without any Germans -- a Polish peasant Feliks Skiba killed Ida's parents to steal their property. But that did occur -- the szmalcowniki were notorious for reporting Jews to the Gestapo for financial gain. Jews and lefties claim it is anti-Semitic. Helena Datner, a leading Jewish leader, feels it entrenches stereotypes of Jews in the post-war Stalinist terror apparatus. The fact is tha Jews were highly overrepresented therein.

According to director Pawlikowski, the film is not about that. It is a study of human paradoxes about two women coming to terms with their tragic past.

The former Stalinsit prosecutor Wanda Gruz, who had sent many Polish patriots to their death for opposing their country's sovietisation, tries to drown out guilt feelings via hedonist pursuits -- a posh flat, Wartburg saloon, fancy duds, partying, vodka, cigarettes and random hook-ups, but ultimatley fails and commits suicide.

Ida temporarily sheds her novice's habit to sample such forbidden fruits as alcohol, cigarettes and sex, but ultimatley rejects such temporal things, opts for eternity and returns to her convent to tkae her vos of poverty, chastity and obedience.net. If anything, this film is deeply pro-Catholic.

Since I first visited Poland in the mid-1960s, I can commend Pawlikowski and his set designers for their authentic re-creation of those '60s surroundings -- street scenes, vehicles, dress and a typical café dance featuring such hits as "Rudy rydz".

.
Vox - | 175
3 Mar 2015 #12
"Ida" is a great film in many ways"
Sure thing if you are into one sided the Jew centred the WWII narrative I'm sure "Ida" fulfils well all those preconditions.
Harry
3 Mar 2015 #13
I'm really curious to know what you all think!

From what I read it's rather an over-simplification. However, it also seems to be getting right up the noses of people from both extremes and that is very often the sign of a film that's worth seeing (or a book that's worth reading).

A hypothetical movie about British paratroopers landing in Germany and joying as guards at the Auschwitz concentration camp would have been as much historically accurate as the film you most likely haven't seen.

Let's see now:
There were no British guards at Auschwitz; some Poles (both Catholic Poles and Jewish Poles) did inform on Jews who were in hiding; some Poles (both Catholic Poles and Jewish Poles) did collaborate with the communist regime after the war.

No British paratroops landed in Germany while Auschwitz was operational; some Poles (both Catholic Poles and Jewish Poles) did inform on Jews who were in hiding; some Poles (both Catholic Poles and Jewish Poles) did collaborate with the communist regime after the war.

No British troops of any description who had joined German forces saw any combat with German forces; some Poles (both Catholic Poles and Jewish Poles) did inform on Jews who were in hiding; some Poles (both Catholic Poles and Jewish Poles) did collaborate with the communist regime after the war.

No British troops of any description who had joined German forces performed guard duty at any concentration camps or any other camps (other than the camps in which they themselves resided); some Poles (both Catholic Poles and Jewish Poles) did inform on Jews who were in hiding; some Poles (both Catholic Poles and Jewish Poles) did collaborate with the communist regime after the war.

So, your film about British paratroopers landing in Germany and joying as guards at the Auschwitz concentration camp is entirely inaccurate and doesn't have even a single shred of accuracy; however, a film in which some Poles (both Catholic Poles and Jewish Poles) inform on Jews who were in hiding and some Poles (both Catholic Poles and Jewish Poles) collaborate with the communist regime after the war is entirely accurate.

Why are you asking me about another poster?

It's because he knows that I can and will tear him to shreds if he attempts to debate with me.
jon357 63 | 15,064
3 Mar 2015 #14
"Ida" is a great film in many ways"
Sure thing if you are into one sided the Jew centred the WWII narrative I'm sure "Ida" fulfils well all those preconditions.

You seem to be suggesting that the narrative about Polish history is one-sided and the majority don't have a voice. They very much do have. Voice and I suspect what you're really saying is that you don't think any opposing views should be expressed. As a poster said early today, confronting all aspects of a country's history (and the history of Poland is not just the history of the Poles) is a sign of cultural maturity.

A hypothetical movie about British paratroopers landing in Germany and joying as guards at the Auschwitz concentration camp would have been as much historically accurate as the film you most likely haven't seen.

Not really, since events depicted in that film did sadly occur, however your fantasy about British guards at Auschwitz is just that. A fantasy. There's one significant difference however. Should such a film ever be made, it's so far from reality that nobody in the UK would care. No heated debate, no sh1tstorm, and most importantly, nobody offended.

I wonder why you think I haven't watched the film.
Ziemowit 13 | 4,038
3 Mar 2015 #15
"Ida" is a great film in many ways.

The right claims it is anti-Polish because it deals with the Holocaust without any Germans

Jews and lefties claim it is anti-Semitic. Helena Datner, a leading Jewish leader, feels it entrenches stereotypes of Jews in the post-war Stalinist terror apparatus.

Thank you for the description of the film. I haven't seen it, but as I already observed in the Polish section of the forum, judging it by the fact that it is criticised by the two sides, one should be inclined to admit it is a film which must be both fair and honest.

"Szmalcownicy" is a widely-known term in Poland. On the other hand, the fact that the Jews were "highly overrepresented" in the post-war Stalinist terror apparatus is also known, but I would certainly distance myself from the "over-represented" and the "highly" term in particular. The post-war Stalinist terror wasn't about "Jewish people" against "Polish people" just as the holocaust was about "Germanic arian people against "Jewish semitic people". In the same way one cannot call the post-war Stalinist terror a Georgian thing simple beacause comrade Stalin was Georgian himself.
Vox - | 175
3 Mar 2015 #16
"You seem to be suggesting that the narrative about Polish history is one-sided and the majority don't have a voice."
I'm saying the narrative about Polish history as presented in that film is a one-sided Jews focused perspective.

"Voice and I suspect what you're really saying is that you don't think any opposing views should be expressed."

I'm all for different perspectives and differed views being expressed. I would only people were aware it is Jewish not Polish perspective.

"As a poster said early today, confronting all aspects of a country's history (and the history of Poland is not just the history of the Poles) is a sign of cultural maturity."

It is a worth noting, touching that patronising tone towards anyone and a nation in particular is a sure sign of a flawed or immature personality.

"Not really, since events depicted in that film did sadly occur"
Not that those events were in any way representative to what had really happened. Furthermore each of events depicted in the film taken separately remains in the realm of probability but all of them piled tight together are only possible in a fantasy world or as I said in the one-sided Jew centred narrative.

"Should such a film ever be made, it's so far from reality that nobody in the UK would care"
Nobody in Poland cared at all about it. At least before the film got the Oscar and became an icon of Poland allegedly confronting her own history and as such being a subject of patronising comments. In regard to the WWII Poland has no need nor a reason to apologize to anyone.

"Thank you for the description of the film. I haven't seen it, but as I already observed in the Polish section of the forum, judging it by the fact that it is criticised by the two sides, one should be inclined to admit it is a film which must be both fair and honest"

A man of the middle, a position considered by some to be a sign of maturity and by others as an excuse for fence sitters.
Ziemowit 13 | 4,038
3 Mar 2015 #17
Nobody in Poland cared at all about it. At least before the film got the Oscar and became an icon of Poland

That is simply not true. Many did and before the film got the Oscar, it won a lot of other prizes and befor it won those other prizes the film was known and discussed a lot here in Poland.

A man of the middle, a position considered by some to be a sign of maturity and by others as an excuse for fence sitters.

A position of the far side, isn't it a position stating that the world may only be black or white, with no shades of grey between them. [Keep your hands off my homeland, my boy; sober or drunk, she has always been my mother.]
Vox - | 175
3 Mar 2015 #18
"A position of the far side, isn't it a position stating that the world may only be black or white, with no shades of grey between them"

A flawed position of weak minded i.e. those who need a map to do all that arbitral orienteering with help of tool or artificial crutches to supplement lack of certain limbs in this case lack of skill, senses or ability of your own. Instead you are always looking for grey even if there is none.

[Keep your hands off my homeland, my boy; sober or drunk, she has always been my mother.]
Keep your advices to yourself and do not try to lecture me in your patronising manner betraying a deeply ingrained sense of inadequacy.
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
3 Mar 2015 #19
It is true that the regime's terror apparatus (those who jailed, tortured, maimed and killed Poles opposed to their country's Sovietisation) was served by Poles, Jews, Ukrainians, Greeks, Armenians and maybe the odd Gypsy or two, but the percentage of a single group is downright staggering!

According to a report sent by Col. Nikolai Selivanowsky (Soviet adviser to Poland's security ministry) to Lavrenty Beria, Jews constituted no more than 1% of Polish society in 1945, but accounted for 50% of the leadership of the Ministry of Public Security, and nearly 19% of the entire ministry staff. Later the overall number of Jews grew to 37% ministry-wide.

Here is a list of the ministry's Jewish leadership (NOTE: when names were changed to conceal their ethnicity, the original form is given in brackets):

Roman Romkowski (właściwie Natan Grinszpan-Kikiel) - wiceminister MBP, generał brygady bezpieczeństwa publicznego,
Mieczysław Mietkowski (właściwie Mojżesz Bobrowicki) - wiceminister MBP, generał brygady bezpieczeństwa publicznego
Leon Andrzejewski (właściwie Ajzen Lajb Wolf) - kierownik kadr, dyrektor Gabinetu MBP, pułkownik
Józef Różański (właściwie Józef Goldberg) - kierownik sekcji śledczej resortu, pułkownik
Edward Kalecki (właściwie Szymon Eliasz Tenenbaum) - dyrektor Wydziału Finansowego resortu, pułkownik
Kamil Warman - resort ochrony zdrowia, lek.med, podpułkownik Urzędu Bezpieczeństwa
Wiktor Herer - naczelnik Wydziału IV Departamentu V
Leon Gangel (właściwie Lew Gangel) - dyrektor Departamentu Służby Zdrowia MBP, pułkownik
...

pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ministerstwo_Bezpiecze%C5%84stwa_Publicznego
jon357 63 | 15,064
3 Mar 2015 #20
I'm saying the narrative about Polish history as presented in that film is a one-sided Jews focused perspective.

So what. Unless you think every work of fiction should present politically opposing view? Queen Lear, anyone? Are there any war films that show a "one-sided" Polish "perspective" or do they all show the holocause from the point of views of others?

I'm all for different perspectives and differed views being expressed. I would only people were aware it is Jewish not Polish perspective.

You seem to imply that a. they two points of view are mutually exclusive, and b. the "Polish perspective" and the Jewish one have no commonality.Not everyone in Poland shares your "perspective".

one-sided Jew centred narrative.

Do any films exist with a "one-sided Pole centred narrative"?

Nobody in Poland cared at all about it.

Really? All those awards, reviews and discussions must only have been a

fantasy

In regard to the WWII Poland has no need nor a reason to apologize to anyone.

Who said they did? Though some very bad things certainly did happen.
Harry
3 Mar 2015 #21
when names were changed to conceal their ethnicity, the original form is given in brackets

Let me guess, you'll decide who was and was not a Jew?

Of course some Jews collaborated with the communist regime; people from virtually every group imaginable did, even some Americans who lived in Poland then collaborated with the communist regime. I wonder who can name such people. Perhaps their lives might make a good film!
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
3 Mar 2015 #22
"Some" is a convenient cover-up word. This is about percentages. When a group constitutes 1% of society accounts for 50% of anything in that society...... One needn't be a statistician to find that something is grossly out of whack.
Vox - | 175
3 Mar 2015 #23
"Vox - I'm saying the narrative about Polish history as presented in that film is a one-sided Jews focused perspective."

So what. Unless you think every work of fiction should present politically opposing view?

Do you really want me to repeat myself? I have already said what I have to say. Do you have a problem with it?

"You seem to imply that a. they two points of view are mutually exclusive, and b. the "Polish perspective" and the Jewish one have no commonality."

In regard to the WWII it seems to be the case.
"Not everyone in Poland shares your "perspective"
Let me quote you : "So what?"

"Though some very bad things certainly did happen"
Very bad things did happen, are happening and undoubtedly will happen.
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
3 Mar 2015 #24
No, all this information is from Polish Ministry of Public Security files and stored by the at the IPN.
Lyzko 25 | 7,009
3 Mar 2015 #25
Again, I have yet to see this film, but have read her reviews! I think the issue of Poland's post-war anti-Semitism is heating up again, mainly because the Gomułka period is currently being reevaluated. The blame is being placed more on Moczar than on Gomułka himself:-)
jon357 63 | 15,064
3 Mar 2015 #26
Moczar was a foul man. Hard to see though how the excesses of the post-war Stalin years affect with a wartime story.
Lyzko 25 | 7,009
3 Mar 2015 #27
Because it's really the same story, Jon, only with a different ending.
jon357 63 | 15,064
3 Mar 2015 #28
Hmm. The danger is (as some here have tried) that post-war issues can be used to attempt to detract from the stories of suffering before that.
Lyzko 25 | 7,009
3 Mar 2015 #29
Fact is, that Jews were far less numerous in the national post-war government of Poland than of, say, former East Germany (Hermann Axen) or Communist Hungary (Rakoci Matyas). In Poland, as in former West Germany, anti-Semitism was alive and well, only noone saw fit to speak of it publically.
jon357 63 | 15,064
3 Mar 2015 #30
Hard to see how that relates to Poland's latest Oscar winning film. Also quite a sweeping assumption that the people on Pol3's list weren't Poles.


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