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The film begins with Ida as she is ready take her vows as a nun; she has lived at the convent all of her life, but she does not know anything about her family. Prior to taking the vows, Ida is encouraged to reach out to an aunt who has finally contacted her. The movie is the story of what she and her aunt discover in a search for their family history; I won’t spoil anything about the journey, except that the personal journey is woven into a larger social and political story involving the Nazis. The film is about the most minimalist I have ever seen. It is spare on dialog; nothing is said that does not have importance to the story. The film is in black and white and helps create a dark and serious mood. The filming is stunning – every single frame is a work of art in terms of composition and lighting. While I found the story moderately engaging, a big thumbs up for a movie that is technically brilliant and beautiful to look at. (2014; 5 Stars)

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