Directed by Pawel Pawlikowski
Undoubtedly, Ms. Hen thinks that the only part of the Oscars that matters is the Foreign Language Films Category. Some hens might think she’s a snob, but she has the credentials in order to accomplish this. She watched IDA, the film that won best foreign language film this year at the Oscars and she swooned as only a hen can.
The first thing Ms. Hen noticed in the film was the beauty of the cinematography. The quality of the picture and the mis en scene in each shot is perfect. The film has a very quiet tone, as if we are peeking at someone’s life who doesn’t know how fascinating she can be.
It is the story of Ida, a young novitiate nun who is about to take her final vows in the early 1960s. She is sent by the Mother Superior to find her only living relative, her aunt, before she commits herself entirely. She finds her Aunt Wanda, a Communist Party insider, who drinks and smokes and sleeps around. She tells Ida about her past, that Ida’s family was Jewish and the rest of them hid in their village to escape the Nazis.
Ida and her aunt travel to their hometown in search of the man who hid Ida’s parents. They are an odd couple, a young nun and a wild woman who drinks straight from the bottle before she goes on a long drive. IDA is a story of someone's journey to find her past, and in the end, she finds herself.
The young actress who plays Ida, Agata Trzebuchowska, acts the part with subtle depth and power. She is not even an actress. The director saw her in a café and decided she would work for the part. Agata Kuliza as Aunt Wanda plays the opposite of Ida, she loves her niece and wants to help, but she can’t stop being herself.
Ms. Hen couldn’t stop herself from noticing the chickens in the film. In the beginning, when Ida is leaving the convent, she steps outside the house, and chickens are inside the barn. Also when Ida and Wanda go to the old family house to the barn that had the stained glass window, chickens ran around their feet.
IDA poses questions about life, and made Ms. Hen question her life. If you were going to spend your life doing one thing and never knew anything else, would you want to see what the world was like? Is there honor in never changing? Should we go down the comfortable path, not knowing what the other path holds for us? Should we always be the same?
Ms. Hen likes films that make her think. IDA is quiet and subtle, but powerful at the same time. It’s a sad film, but one that offers hope. Ida learned about her past and moved on with her life and made the right decisions for herself. Ms. Hen hopes that someday she will make the right decisions, but for now she is a purse, simply an accessory with strong opinions that will not stay quiet for anyone.