On 10 May, during the 71st Cannes International Film Festival, the world premiere took place of the film “Zimna wojna” (Cold War), directed by Paweł Pawlikowski and co-financed by the Polish Film Institute. The film was very well received by viewers and film journalists and critics alike.

Some of the most important European and American newspapers and internet portals have been writing about the Cannes premiere of Paweł Pawlikowski’s film.

Leslie Felperin from Hollywood Reporter predicts a lot of interest in “Zimna wojna” (Cold War) from global festivals and fans of art-house cinema around the world. Many critics highlighted the important role played by the soundtrack in the film, both in terms of popularising the achievements of such folk troupes as “Mazowsze” and “Silesia” and also presenting jazz pieces from the 1950s and 1960s. Felperin was one of those who focused on the soundtrack, stressing that the film is a delight for music connoisseurs and calling “Zimna wojna” (Cold War) a “sultrier, sexier, more sunlit film that evokes the 16mm cinematography of the period.”

Tim Robey from The Telegraph, just like Guy Lodge from Variety, drew attention to the excellent acting performances, comparing Joanna Kulig to the French actress Jeanne Moreau and calling her the film’s “life force”. One of her scenes even drew comparisons with the films of Martin Scorsese. In his review, Robey recalled the American film musical “The Fabulous Baker Boys”, which he placed Pawlikowski’s film alongside in “the rarefied pantheon of languorous scenester romances.”

“«Zimna wojna» (Cold War) is a soberly moving study of the disappointment and insecurity that can blossom from supposed renewal: It’s a romance in which new beginnings and endings can be hard to tell apart,” writes Guy Lodge, adding that, “If Kot is the film’s elegant, temperate anchor, Kulig is its wildly swinging pendulum: Wholly riveting to watch, she rifles through moods and attitudes with casual magnetism.”

Geoffrey Macnab from The Independent, in his review entitled “A glorious throwback, rekindling the glory days of New Wave cinema’, notes that the film is a ‘decades-spanning romantic drama that never loses its ironic edge.” Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian, who awarded “Zimna wojna” (Cold War) the highest rating in the form of five stars, emphasises that the film is “an elliptical, episodic story of imprisonment and escape, epic in scope” in showing a totalitarian world.

For Nick James from Sight & Sound, the first part of “Zimna wojna” (Cold War) is a seductive musical, captivatingly presented in black-and-white, which has not been seen in world cinema for some time. In his review, he mentions the visual influences that he saw in the film – including Brassaï’s photos, or the films by Tarkovsky and Losey – hoping at the same time that this “energy-filled” picture will obtain “the highest prizes” at Cannes.

Translated by Paweł Włochacz