Cold War - A tale of defenseless love in a Poland of Communist control
A beauty peeking behind the broken faces,
the torn clothes, the dirty hands of a destructive war.
A pain that stems from songs of negligence
for a land of thick white snow
Which, falling, covers the soldiers' breath.
The peasant sings about Maja's skirt,
about her pink uncles who watches dancing underneath it.
Miniature villages hide angelic voices.
The melancholic colourless images of rural grounds
And the heartbreaking singing that introduce the film
Immediately remind one of Bela Tarr’s Damnation.
But soon enough, the plot starts to to follow a more linear narrative path.
When Wictor and Irena make their
They emerge as a couple of nonconformists,
Set out to collect and train the rustic voices of Poland.
It's this simplicity and purity of the peasant,
The cornerstone of their music academy
They take him by the hand and teach him how to dance
Teach her how to sing
In front of crowds of thrill and passion.
But as the academy grows and prospers,
The Communist regime becomes stronger
Amid this cheering crowd stands powerful, the threat.
An agricultural Poland, saved by Nazi rule,
Is pushed now to a different dance macabre.
A threat of an oppressive establishment that is about to turn their purity into propaganda.
While Wiktor tries to fight for his liberal ideas,
and save the school from serving as a tool for the spread of communism
He finds himself singing about Zula's skirt,
his brave, yet audacious student, who gives herself completely into his charm and seductive authority.
While their love grows larger,
the school's liberty and autonomy grows smaller and smaller
until it can't fit into Wiktor's heart.
He goes to Paris.
Where is she?
Lukasz Zal's cinematography accompanies their characters to their utter humiliation
Through heartbreaking deliveries of traditional Polish melodies
a love story untangles and then tangles again.
It slips from a painted red Poland
to a multicoloured Paris where jazz and swing dominate the cabarets,
and from obstacles that go beyond their passionate nature
to always arrive in a state of political oppression.
Pawel Pawlikowski makes us wonder if the title of the film bypasses its seemingly political essence
to actually refer to its main protagonists.
their fate seems inevitable, almost... necessary.
Even in their sweetest moments, that find their completion
in the dangerous Paris of the West
they both seem to drown into their weaknesses
and spit them towards one another.