Cry your eyes out

Cold War

Film. Best Director Award at the Cannes Film Festival, Pawel Pawloski’s movie gives the Slavic soul on a jazz background in 1950’s Paris.

 By Jacques Braunstein

Feature film in black and white, square format, original soundtrack full of jazz and Slav music, Cold War assumes its melancholy… At the end of the Second World War, Wictor travels the snowy and muddy roads of Poland in search of singers and traditional dancers.

Cold War is a stunning melodrama, the sad beauty of Joanna Kulig is overwhelming

This musician is responsible for putting on a folkloric show to the glory of the Communist Party. When he auditions Zula, he knows that it is not really a farmer girl who fits in with her project, that she probably hides a secret, but she sings well and above all she is pretty… The tour is a success, Zula becomes his mistress, and he offers him to go to the West. Where he could devote himself to the music he loves : jazz. Where she would like to record a record. She hesitates, lets him go alone, joins him in Paris… But are we quite the same in a foreign country ? What’s in common between the immigrant who runs the stamps and the troop leader whom she has fallen in love with ?

Cold War is a stunning melodrama, the sad beauty of Joanna Kulig is overwhelming, and Tomasz Kot lugs a uneasiness cute of cigarette in the early morning. With this film Pawel Pawloski seemed to have all the cards in hand to win the Palme d’Or in Cannes this year. Especially as her previous film Ida, the story of a nun who discovers her past, life and jazz in Poland 50’s – already in black and white, square format – won an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2015.

Signe des temps, cette année un autre film nostalgique sur la musique de l’autre côté du Rideau de fer était en sélection officielle à Cannes. En noir et blanc également, mais plus rock, Leto du cinéaste russe Kirill Serebrennikov a séduit de nombreux festivaliers. Le jury a-t-il hésité entre ces deux films cousins ? Finalement, Pawel Pawloski s’est contenté du Prix de la mise en scène. Un prix amplement mérité par ce grand mélo classique. Maitrisé de bout en bout, il mérite bien une larme.

Sign of the times, this year another nostalgic film about music on the other side of the Iron Curtain was in official selection at Cannes. In black and white also, but more rock, Leto by Russian filmmaker Kirill Serebrennikov has seduced many festival-goers. Did the jury hesitate between these two cousin films ? Finally, Pawel Pawloski was satisfied with the Best Director Award. A prize well deserved by this great classic melo. Mastered from start to finish, he deserves a tear.