Rent Cold War (2018)

3.6 of 5 from 344 ratings
1h 24min
Rent Cold War (aka Zimna Wojna) Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
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Synopsis:
In the ruins of post-war Poland, Wiktor (Tomasz Kot) and Zula (Joanna Kulig) fall deeply, obsessively and destructively in love. As performing musicians forced to play into the Soviet propaganda machine, they dream of escaping to the creative freedom of the West. But one day, as they spot their chance to make a break for Paris, both make a split decision that will mark their lives forever. Pawel Pawlikowski follows his Oscar-winning 'Ida' with the stunning 'Cold War', an epic romance set against the backdrop of Europe after World War II.
Sumptuously shot in luminous black and white, it spans decades and nations to tell a love story that is as tragic as it is moving, and as transportive as it is honest.
Actors:
, , , , , , , , , , , , , Tomasz Markiewicz, Izabela Andrzejak, Kamila Borowska, Katarzyna Ciemniejewska, Joanna Depczynska, Gracjana Graczyk, Dominika Ladziak
Directors:
Producers:
Ewa Puszczynska, Tanya Seghatchian
Writers:
Pawel Pawlikowski, Janusz Glowacki, Piotr Borkowski
Others:
Pawel Pawlikowski, Ewa Puszczynska, Paweł Pawlikowski, Janusz Głowacki, Łukasz Żal
Aka:
Zimna Wojna
Studio:
Curzon / Artificial Eye
Genres:
Classics, Drama, Romance
Awards:

2018 Cannes Best Director

BBFC:
Release Date:
07/01/2019
Run Time:
84 minutes
Aspect Ratio:
Full Screen 1.33:1 / 4:3
Colour:
B & W
Languages:
Croatian, English Audio Description, French, German, Italian, Polish, Russian
Subtitles:
English, English Hard of Hearing
Bonus:
  • The Sound of Cold War
  • Behind the Scenes
  • Dwa Serduszka (Two Hearts) - Music Video
  • Behind the Music
  • Trailer
BBFC:
Release Date:
07/01/2019
Run Time:
88 minutes
Aspect Ratio:
Full Screen 1.33:1 / 4:3
Colour:
B & W
Languages:
Croatian, English Audio Description, French, German, Italian, Polish, Russian
Subtitles:
English, English Hard of Hearing
Bonus:
  • The Sound of Cold War
  • Behind the Scenes
  • Dwa Serduszka (Two Hearts) - Music Video
  • Behind the Music
  • Trailer

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Reviews (9) of Cold War

A ho-hum Polish-British-French co-production about folk music + defection to west in 1950s - Cold War review by PV

Well like the previous film by this director which won the Oscar, I believe, my reaction to this film is 'MEH'.

It's moderately interesting - about the awful time when the Soviets and Communism were in charge of Poland and Eastern Europe, and oppressed and bullied people just as badly as the Nazis.

Funded by lottery grants, Film4 and other state funding - it's all watchable though hardly exciting.

Basically a thwarted love story - and I hated the ending (no spoilers).

Well-filmed and that's why it gets 3 stars.

2 out of 3 members found this review helpful.

Excellent - Cold War review by JD

This black and white movie is well worth the various Oscar nominations it has just received in January 2019.

An intense love story set after WW2 with stunning cinematography. Beautifully acted, with classic folk music from Poland.

Intense and sad, so fancy gimmicks, just a good screenplay and I loved it.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

A beautiful, but dark, love story in black & white - Cold War review by PJ

This film is an arch-love story. In the ruins of post-war Poland, Wiktor and Zula fall deeply, obsessively and destructively in love. As performing musicians/ artists forced to work for the Communist propaganda machine (as members of a folk troupe), they dream of escaping to the West. One day, they spot their chance to make a break for freedom in France.

On one level, there is something predictable in the way that the love story between the 2 central characters develops. On another, the film is full of surprises and the lead actress is simply amazing and stunning, in terms of her presence and sensuality on screen. Somehow, the use of black & white enhances her charm and beauty, and gives the film more depth and elegance.

My problem is with the 2nd half of the film, which I do not find entirely plausible in terms of the storyline. I cannot go into details because it would be a spoiler. But I simply cannot see the 2 characters reacting in this kind of way in real life, also given the broader political and social-economic context at the time (the 1950s).

It is still a beautiful and intensely romantic film that I would certainly recommend, which you are unlikely to forget.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

Critic review

Cold War (aka Zimna Wojna) review by Mark McPherson - Cinema Paradiso

Director Pawel Pawlikowski is quickly becoming one of my favorite directors of the decade. His previous film, Ida, entranced me with its desolate beauty of finding yourself in the black-and-white, 4:3 world of a chilly Poland. Cold War serves up as another prime example of how Pawlikowski touches on the deepest sensations of passion, isolation, and faith. And while Ida was very quiet and contemplative of the past, Cold War exists very much in the present of its story with love never fully realized and music that carried the era.

Taking place during post-war Poland of the 1950s, the film follows Wiktor (Tomasz Kot) and Zula (Joanna Kulig). Wiktor is part of assembling a state-sponsored folk music group to boost the morale and entertainment appeal of the country. He quickly becomes infatuated when Zula comes in for an audition, regaling him with her heavenly voice. They hit it off well as the ensemble takes off, passionate love made between organization and singing.

Then their relationship takes a harsh turn when the intentions of the singing group shift. If their songs can favor Communist and Stalinist propaganda, they’ll be rewarded with a grander tour. Wiktor doesn’t like this shift but is overruled. As a result, some singers quit and Zula is urged by the ex-performers to act as a spy for those that despise the direction the group and the country are taking. Clearly, this group is becoming toxic to both their politics and their love, leading them to desperate plans of running away together. These plans will not come to be not from outside forces but a greater sense of personal frustration.

The two will meet up years later as different people. Married, struggling, and bitter. The love for each other is still there but how can it go on? After everything that has happened in their country and to them, going with the flow and refusing to fight the current, they remain as the ships that continue to pass each other. Romance always seems hidden, kept warm in the confines of their hearts and locked doors, never to be fully embraced by a world they and others have constructed to disallow what would seem like an obvious relationship meant to be.

Similar to Ida, Pawlikowski’s direction always has a sense of where the characters feel overpowered by their environment, making their personal journeys for trying to understand themselves seem all the more tough and engaging. The harsh shadows and cramp nature of the spaces they occupy, as well as the aspect ratio the film was shot in, always keep the film more personal and moving than being a historical piece. The focus is not on Communism and Stalinism, merely an ingredient of what led to a troubled and tearful romance that always hit a pothole before making that turn towards lasting happiness.

Cold War spins such a tragic romance with amazing cinematography that takes in the dark chill seeping in from every spacious nightclub, stuffy bedroom, small train, and lonely alley. There’s a brilliance in the tease of this love that wasn’t quite meant to be, where the climax takes a bittersweet turn towards what the couple feel is their only escape. Even with some flashy song-and-dance numbers, including one performance by Zula in a very happening club, there’s always a quiet to the presentation, abundant with whispers of a love that Wiktor and Zula fear is a taboo in their own sense of protection. And it’s that slight sensation within their many chance encounters that gives the film such a thrill for showcasing how internal and external forces push us away, even when we want to be close.

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