‘Cold War’ Review: The Director of ‘Ida’ Delivers One of the Bleakest Love Stories Ever Told — Cannes

A broken love story about broken people in a broken country, Paweł Pawlikowski’s “Cold War” is nothing if not true to its title.

Barren even in its fleeting moments of joy, and emotionally inaccessible to the extreme, the film is dark enough to make the director’s Oscar-winning “Ida” feel like a frivolous comedy.

And yet, as irreparable as these characters might seem, there’s something beautiful about watching them, in less than 90 minutes, try to fix each other over the course of 20 years — to become whole at any cost, long after they’ve forgotten what that really feels like.Romance must have been hard to find in post-war Poland.

We meet Wiktor (Tomasz Kot) in 1949.

A wiry music conductor who’s taken a job at a folk-music academy, Wiktor drives around the remote tundras of the country’s outer rim with his recorder, searching for signs of life.

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