Rent Cold War (2018)

3.5 of 5 from 391 ratings
1h 24min
Rent Cold War (aka Zimna Wojna) Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
  • General info
  • Available formats
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
Languages:
Croatian, English Audio Description, French, German, Italian, Polish, Russian
Subtitles:
English, English Hard of Hearing
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Full Screen 1.33:1 / 4:3
Colour:
B & W
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
Languages:
Croatian, English Audio Description, French, German, Italian, Polish, Russian
Subtitles:
English, English Hard of Hearing
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Full Screen 1.33:1 / 4:3
Colour:
B & W
BLU-RAY Regions:
B
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

Spoiler Alert
19/01/2019

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.

Beautifully made valuable film - Cold War review by RD

Spoiler Alert
05/03/2019

It's a love story with a difference, it is stripped bare of the usual cliches and padding that make up the average film. As such it stands out as unique.

This black and white film is very sharp in blu-ray and with good contrast to all the beautifully composed shots.

In particular, mention must be made of the soundtrack, filled with a wide range of music (performed, not background incidental stuff) from classical to jazz to obscure folk, in fabulous quality and with great use of the surround channels. The train sound effects are superb. Many of the scenes are silent except for ambience, and it works so well.

The story is well told with a good pace and has a great mixture of action, and it is absorbing.

We rented this film after hearing Mark Kermode rate it highly, and we were so delighted to have found it.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

Great retro love story - Cold War review by TE

Spoiler Alert
12/03/2019

What a lovely, throwback of a film! The gorgeous b/w cinematography enhances the sense of watching a classic love story from the 1940s or 1950s.

The editing is superb and there is not a moment of wasted screen time in this pared down sweep of passion.

Joanna Kulig is a mesmerisingly earthy, sensual presence.

A magnificently persuasive and engaging love affair.

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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