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Review: Oscar nominated love story Cold War screens in Diss

PUBLISHED: 09:28 04 February 2019 | UPDATED: 09:31 04 February 2019

Pawel Pawlikowski Oscar-nominated Cold War is screening in Diss. Picture: Curzon Artificial Eye

Pawel Pawlikowski Oscar-nominated Cold War is screening in Diss. Picture: Curzon Artificial Eye

Archant

Pawel Pawlikowski follows his Oscar-winning Ida with the deeply romantic Cold War, a turbulent love story set against the backdrop of Europe after the Second World War.

Pawel Pawlikowski Oscar-nominated Cold War is screening in Diss. Picture: Curzon Artificial EyePawel Pawlikowski Oscar-nominated Cold War is screening in Diss. Picture: Curzon Artificial Eye

Pawel Pawlikowski, an Oscar winner for his previous film Ida, has seen his follow-up, the deeply romantic film Cold War earn three nominations for this year’s awards.

Sumptuously shot in luminous black and white, and spanning a 15 year period during the Cold War era, its tells a turbulent love story between a pianist and conductor a singer and dancer.

In the ruins of post-war Poland, Wiktor (Tomasz Kot) and Zula (Joanna Kulig) fall deeply, obsessively and destructively in love.

Pawel Pawlikowski Oscar-nominated Cold War is screening in Diss. Picture: Curzon Artificial EyePawel Pawlikowski Oscar-nominated Cold War is screening in Diss. Picture: Curzon Artificial Eye

As performing musicians forced to play into the Soviet propaganda machine, they dream of escaping to the creative freedom of the West.

It all starts in Poland in 1949 with everyday people standing before a recorder singing polish songs about the woes of love. The songs are being recorded by a committee in search of authentic melodies and talented singers for the creation of an ambitious musical club.

As they travel through Warsaw, Berlin, Paris and Yugoslavia, the highly passionate couple will struggle to come together, they will have to compromise, face dilemmas and jealousy and try their luck in the West before risking a return to Poland.

Pawel Pawlikowski Oscar-nominated Cold War is screening in Diss. Picture: Curzon Artificial EyePawel Pawlikowski Oscar-nominated Cold War is screening in Diss. Picture: Curzon Artificial Eye

Set to a soundtrack that takes you from the rustic folk songs of rural Poland to the sultry jazz of a Paris basement bar, it is a wistful and dreamlike journey through a divided continent – and a heartbreaking portrait of ill-fated love.

Pawlikowski is a filmmaker who wants to give you as much as he can with as little as possible. As a study in estrangement and exile, the film probably succeeds a little too well. The first half hour in Poland is gently enthralling but when the film rolls up in Paris and the Jazz scene, it gets a little lost.

Like its characters, the film only really works in the fatherland. Home is best, even when home is a world of communist paranoia.

• Cold War screens at Diss Corn Hall on February 6, 10.30am and 7.30pm, 01379 652241, disscornhall.co.uk

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