MIFF tourCold war (2018)
It was cold and drizzling that day, people were waiting in front of the gate, and we all knew that people who standing beside us are film lovers.
While much of 2018 is already behind us, there is probably no suspense that Cold war, directed by polish director Pawel Pawlikowski, will be one of the best black and white films of 2018. Even though the film is less than 90 minutes, the extreme texture of the film art form, black-and-white screen image of style made it stand out in the competitive year. (Pawel Pawlikowski, the winner of best director in Cannes Film Festival (2018) and the nominee of best film in Polish Film Festival (2018), FIPRESCI Film of the year in San Sebastián International Film Festival (2018) as well as People’s Choice Award in Toronto International Film Festival (2018).)
Which side of the landscape is better?Neither of them belong to us.
The film mainly tells about the love story between a polish male musician and a female singer before and after the beginning of the cold war. In search of freedom, the two went to France, then to Italy, Yugoslavia and other countries, but eventually went back to Poland. However, with facing a tougher political environment their love and marriage is subjected to severe tests, and the way home is even harder.
From my perspective, in the Poland part, on the one hand, the grey colour implies a depression and grey atmosphere after the transformation of polish society at that time. On the other hand, lots of fixed long lens were used in this part, as a result, both time and space were froze in screen , no one could escape from that.
In the Paris part, there appeared more sports long lens, the images were also high contrast, characters always existed outside the picture and tended to be separated from the environment, which represented the protagonists’ incompatibility with the general environment and strong sense of alienation.
What I liked most about this film is that, instead of simply binary opposites between Poland and France as well as Europe and western Europe, the director presented a complete picture of polish artists living in foreign countries. The escaped male musician Wiktor found freedom to some extent, but just as Zula (the female Polish singer) said, he was “no longer a man” only a coward with a decadent life and emotional ambivalence. All in all, in order to gain the recognition of the art world in Paris, he changed his artistic style, the simplicity of the polish folk song was gone, and the innocent love of music had faded. In a case where art lost its vitality from divorcing from the culture base, artists suffered from wandering life and counterintuitive creation, what is there to speak about freedom? What is freedom eventually? Where can we found this freedom? These were the questions that heroes and heroines faced ultimately, which also pointed to the tragic ending that they can never escape and never be able to find a home.