Director Pawel Pawlikowski’s black-and-white historical drama ‘Ida’, about a young woman preparing to become a nun only to disover she is a Jew, won Poland its first Academy award in the best foreign film category.
“Here we are at the epicentre of the noise... life is full of surprises. I am very much thankful to the Academy and I am overwhelmed,” Pawlikowski said while accepting his trophy.
The director, who was presented the trophy by Nicole Kidman, dedicated his win to late wife, parents and his family.
Set in the 1960s Polish People’s Republic, Pawlikowski’s film explores the relationship between film’s lead actress and her aunt.
Before taking her vows as a nun, Anna/Ida is sent to meet her only surviving relative aunt Wanda, a promiscuous but lonely judge in the communist regime.
Wanda is irritated by Anna’s impassivity and tells her that she is not a Christian but a Jew, whose parents were murdered during the German occupation of Poland in second World War. The two women decide to visit the village where she was born.
Pawlikowski wades through the Holocaust and Communist history of Poland in his stark story, which has also attracted criticism for its perspective on Polish-Jewish and Christian-Jewish relations with some blaming the film for portraying Poles negatively.
The film saw off competition from Russia’s “Leviathan”, Estonia’s “Tangerines”, Mauritania’s “Timbuktu” and Argentina’s revenge drama “Wild Tales”.
Poland has previously been nominated in the category for “In Darkness’, “Katyn”, “Man of Iron”, “The Maids of Wilko”, “Nights and Days”, “Land of Promise”, “The Deluge”, “Pharaoh” and “Knife in the Water” but it is the first Oscar for the country.
India had sent “Liar’s Dice” but the film failed to progress further.