International Press on "Ida" Success

Ida swept the 2014 European Film Awards – that seems to be the prevalent opinion in the press after last weekend’s events in Riga. At the awards ceremony that took place on December 13, Ida – a film directed by Paweł Pawlikowski and co-financed by the Polish Film Institute – received the top five most important film awards on the continent.

Rzeczpospolita: “Ida Is Europe’s Best Film”

Barbara Hollender of Rzeczpospolita writes: “It was absolute madness. Academy members filled the hall of the Opera in Riga to the brim; they would applaud and shout every time the presenters on stage uttered the title ‘Ida.’ And uttered it was – constantly. No film in the history of the European Film Awards has ever been this triumphant.”


Barbara Hollender asked several members of the foreign press for their opinions. Neal Young of The Hollywood Reporter said: “Ida is one of the most important films of the past year. I am glad it swept this year’s edition of the European Film Awards. I was really rooting for it to win.” Jan Temmerman of Belgium’s DeMorgen said: “I’m a huge fan of Ida; it is beautiful, very stylish cinema. Made by Paweł Pawlikowski meticulously and with an incredible awareness of form. It is rare to see a film this consistent and disciplined.”

Reuters: “Paweł Pawlikowski’s ‘Ida’ Sweeps European Film Awards”

Reuters writes that Ida “dominated the European Film Awards […], winning five prizes, including best film, best director and people’s choice.” Reuters also quotes Paweł Pawlikowski’s statement, which he said as he received the award for best film: “It was [a] fantastic night for us and also it has been a great year for Poland. We won in volleyball, we beat Germany in football, first time in 80 years, and tonight – crowning glory.”

Le Figaro: “The Triumph of Ida”

Le Figaro describes Ida as a “little gem of Polish cinema [that] won five major awards […]. With Ida, Paweł Pawlikowski was able to gain acclaim from the professionals of the European Film Academy and audiences alike, securing a beautiful career for this ‘black-and-white film [made] with a still camera,’ as the director said, tongue-in-cheek, while accepting his awards. This proves that the most demanding art is maintaining its [strong] position, and that there are [audiences] ready to appreciate it. […] Innocence and faith put to the test by reality – that is the way to inner freedom achieved by [the main protagonist] Ida and followed by thousands of viewers, making this Paweł Pawlikowski film one of the most successful art-house movies of 2014.”

The Hollywood Reporter: “Polish ‘Ida’ Wins Big at European Film Awards’

“It was Ida‘s night,” writes The Hollywood Reporter, also noting that for “the past two years, the winner of the best picture honor at the European Film Awards went on to win the Oscar for best foreign-language film.” According to Hollywood Reporter writer Scott Roxborough, Ida, having already received a Golden Globe nomination in the same category, “is already considered a frontrunner in that hard-to-predict category.”

Screen Daily: “Ida Is Big Winner at EFAs”

Martin Blaney of Screen Daily writes about “a jubilant Polish presence” and quotes Ida producer Ewa Puszczyńska, who thanked the Polish Film Institute and its general director Agnieszka Odorowicz: “If it was not for this institution in Poland, our films would not be where they are now.”


In addition, Blaney notes that “Ida’s triumph also gives the Polish film community further impetus for their preparations of the European Film Awards in Wrocław on December 3, 2016, at the end of that city’s European Capital of Culture celebrations.”

Der Tagesspiegel: “Ida – An Impeccable Cinematic Work of Art”

Der Tagesspiegel’s Jan Schulz-Ojala notes that German cinemas marked 30 times less admissions to Ida than French cinemas, and encourages German audiences to watch Ida, as the film is “long available on DVD, though perhaps the resounding success in Riga might encourage some cinema owners to show this extraordinary film again on the big screen. Because over 3,000 members of our continent’s Film Academy and festival programmers cannot possibly be wrong.”

Film New Europe: “Poland’s Ida Scoops Top European Awards”

Anna Franklin states that “Poland was celebrating the resounding win of Paweł Pawlikowski’s Ida in Riga Saturday night as the hit film made a clean sweep of the awards for best European film, best director, best script, best cinematography, and the People’s Choice audience award.”


Franklin also notes that “the black and white film produced by Opus Film (PL) and Phoenix Film (DK) in association with Portobello Pictures (GB) and supported by the Polish Film Institute, has been a resounding success with international sales throughout the world as well as nominations for the upcoming Golden Globes.”

Cinemania: “Polish ‘Ida’ – Big Winner at the European Film Awards”

Carlos Marañón, who writes for Spain’s Cinemania, states: “This Polish full-length feature film even took the audience award […], a curious thing for a film that makes no concessions to the viewers, a masterfully planned and filmed trip down memory lane about life in Poland during Nazi occupation, seen through two unique characters – a nun and a judge capable of asking questions in the period of communist rule.

Gazeta Wyborcza: “An Ida-eal Evening”

In an article entitled “An Ida-eal Evening” for Gazeta Wyborcza, Tadeusz Sobolewski – who attended the awards gala – writes: “Bergman’s actress Liv Ullmann, who presented her personal take on the nominated films from the stage, said that Ida is ‘a journey into the depths of European history that the director did not fear,’ and that ‘there is a light shining from this dark past.’ “


The sourced articles are available at the following links: The Hollywood Reporter, Screen Daily, Reuters, Rzeczpospolita, Gazeta Wyborcza, Film New Europe, Cinemania, Variety, Indiewire, The Independent, The Wrap, Deadline, Le Figaro, Der Tagesspiegel.


Kalina Cybulska


Translated by Karolina Kołtun