In my experience, some things do not travel well across the Channel, whilst others are prone to get lost in translation and so it was with heavy heart that I set off to watch an arty black and white film which tells a story of love and misery in post-war Poland.
I needn’t have worried. Cold War has arrived in Ritzy cinema Brixton via Cannes Best Director Award in pretty good shape. It is achingly beautiful, unbearably sad, and utterly gripping. The sense of foreboding sets in early and you spend most of the film’s relatively short running time waiting for the inevitable fatal blow. And when it comes, you go into full on denial as you try to negotiate a few more minutes, a few more stunning shots of silent, cold windy fields. Credits roll.
Cold War had enjoyed massive publicity in its native Poland, the director and lead actors are household names, and just about everybody has already seen it. Judging by the Ritzy audience today, the film’s fame did not survive the journey across the sea too well. Still, it’s all there for the taking.