If as Einstein said insanity, “is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results”, most of us are hopelessly insane. All of our folklores, myths, fairy-tales, as well as human history and the lives of many rich and famous ‘stars’ in our world vividly portray for us the futility of the pursuit of wealth, power and pleasure. Yet, most of us still try to achieve happiness by precisely a pursuit of these – fame, honour, wealth, power and pleasure, hoping that for us, it would work differently!

Ida is an academy award winning Polish drama directed by Paweł Pawlikowski, about a young novice nun in the post Second World War Poland of the 1960’s. Anna is an orphan who grew up at a convent in communist Poland after the war and is about to take her final vows. Serene and content with her life in the convent and with only a few days to take her final vows, she is unexpectedly asked by the Mother Superior to go and meet her aunt, who is her only surviving relative. Although hesitant, Anna steps out from the silence and security of her convent into the open world – a world that is busy, impersonal, sensual, noisy and bustling with activity.

Her aunt Wanda – a chain-smoking, hard-drinking, promiscuous state judge, though, is less than impressed to see her niece and reveals to Anna the shocking truth about her Jewish ancestry – that she is a Jew and her real name is Ida Lebenstein, whose parents were killed during the war. Ida wishes to find and visit the grave of her parents and although Wanda is initially dismissive of the idea, she soon joins Ida and together they take the harrowing journey to dig deep into the past, revealing and unearthing far more than either of them bargained for.

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Joseph Anthraper lives in Southampton with his wife Mahima and kids Anna-Claire, John-Paul and Samuel-Joseph, and loves reading, movies and theology. He is part of the Kairos Global Editorial Council.