Magazine article U.S. Catholic


Magazine article U.S. Catholic


Article excerpt


Directed by Pawel Pawlikowski (Music Box Films, 2014)

Pawel Pawlikowski's gorgeously shot film about the odyssey of a young Polish nun offers a sympathetic meditation on the mystery of faith, both corporate and personal.

On the verge of taking vows in the community of nuns that raised her as an orphan, 18-year-old postulant Anna (Agata Trzebuchowska) is suddenly ordered by Mother Superior to leave the convent and visit an unknown aunt. Travelling for the first time beyond the cloistered walls, the young novice encounters a modern and urban world both strange and wondrous. It is a world shaped and scarred by fascism, communism, and crimes against Jewish people.

Even more jolting is the news that the aspiring Catholic nun learns from her first encounter with her aunt Wanda (Agata Kulesza): Anna's real name is Ida, and she was born to Jewish parents who had been murdered near the end of the war.

The location of her birth parents' graves is unknown, so Ida and her atheist, communist aunt set out on a journey to find them. …

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