Ida, a film featuring a young nun in the 1960s who discovers her hidden Jewish roots, was the first Polish film awarded with the “Best Foreign Language Film” Oscar, according to Hollywood Reporter.
Pawel Pawlikowski, who directed documentaries for the BBC after finishing a postgraduate degree at Oxford, accepted the award. He also directed the films My Summer of Love and Last Resort. Although Polish filmakers have been awarded Oscars: Roman Polanski as best director for The Pianist, Januzs Kaminksi for cinematography for Schindler’s List and director Andrzej Wajda, this is the first award Foreign Language film for Poland. Roman Polanksi’s Knife in the Water was nominated for the award in 1963 as well as Agnieszka Holland’s Darkness in 2011.
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On Skype, Pawlikowski told the Guardian that he “wanted to make a film that was in dialogue with Poland of the early 1960s–not just cinema, but novels, music, theater, the whole attitude of the period, which I love. It’s about my parent’s generation.” He blames criticism on the fact a “right wing Poland that’s off its head and generates this feeling that we’re being besieged, under some permanent struggle–completely ignoring the reality of Poland.”