Director: Paweł Pawlikowski
Year Released: 2018
Composer Wiktor (Tomasz Kot) and singer Zula (Joanna Kulig) begin a love affair in Poland in the late 1940's that takes them all throughout Europe: they break up, she gets married (to an Italian), he plays in Paris, they get back together, they split again, he gets imprisoned and so on, with the spectre of Stalin (and Lenin) looming over them the whole time. The transitions from one year to another are a little abrupt and the ending too dour (... although that's one way to escape) but it's a moody effort by Pawlikowski (who dedicated to his parents!), aided by some outstanding black and white cinematography (by Lukasz Zal) that evokes the films of countryman Andrzej Wajda. Messy relationships are sometimes hard to depict because they can become exhausting for outsiders to listen to, but jealousy and infidelity are irremovable stains and every fight here feels so very real.