Cold War

Certificate 15

(2018) 88 mins

Director: Pawel Pawlikowski
Writer: Pawel Pawlikowski
Cinematography: Lukasz Zal
Production Design: Benoît Barouh, Marcel Slawinski, Katarzyna Sobanska-Strzalkowska


Paweł 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. 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. As the years march on in the wake of that moment, Wiktor and Zula watch the world changing around them, always struggling to find their moment in time. Curzon Artificial Eye


Winner of the Best Director award at the Cannes Film Festival 2018.

For more information, including a full cast list and reviews, go to:

Showings of this film are part of our Cinematheque season which is supported by the British Film Institute.



“The torn curtain of love is the theme of Paweł Pawlikowski’s mysterious, musically glorious and visually ravishing film set in cold war Poland and beyond. The crystalline black-and-white cinematography exalts its moments of intimate grimness and its dreamlike showpieces of theatrical display. It is an elliptical, episodic story of imprisonment and escape, epic in scope. A love affair thrashes and wilts in the freedom of a foreign country, and then begins to submit to the homeland’s doomy gravitational pull. Like Pawlikowski’s previous picture, Ida, this is about the dark heart of Poland itself. The wounded love at its centre surfaces from the depths of cynicism, exhaustion and state-sponsored submission and fear.”  The Guardian

Pawlikowski is a master of understatement and economy with nary a word or shot out of place. This film deserves to find the same success and audience interest as Ida.”  Eye for Film

Tue 15 Jan Castle Cary
Sat 19 Jan Orkney: Hoy
Wed 30 Jan Churchinford
Fri 01 Feb South Petherton
Mon 04 Feb Great Massingham
Fri 22 Feb Buckingham
Fri 22 Feb Crowcombe
Thu 14 Mar Wookey Hole
Thu 28 Mar Hayle
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