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BGSU Common Experience 2015-16: Ida: Interviews/Controversy

A collection of resources about the 2015-16 BGSU Common Experience film selection "Ida"

Interviews with the Director

Courage of Conviction: A Conversation with Ida Director Pawel Pawlikowski

Pawlikowski sits down with Filmmaker Magazine to share his historical and production insights into the processes, historical contexts, and themes found within the film.


‘Ida’ Director Made Film To ‘Recover The Poland’ Of His Childhood

NPR’s host of FRESH AIR, Terry Gross talks to Pawlikowski about his inspiration behind the characters. He shares how his memories and perspectives of Poland play into the film. A 20:21 audio recording of the interview is also found on the webpage.


How we made Ida: Pawel Pawlikowski on the journey from script to film.

Pawlikowski speaks with The Guardian about his vision of the film and the struggles he encountered to make Ida a reality. Along the way, he shares his insights on filmmaking and genre. The website contains video clips to accompany the article.


Q&A for Ida with Pawel Pawlikowski

Pawlikowski speaks to viewers at the 2013 BFI festival after showing a pre-release cut of the film. He details inspirations, production points, and stories centered on Ida.


Ida may have been well received by film festivals, award ceremonies, and film critics, but many Poles consider the film flawed, or an outright lie in the face of Polish history. Pawlikowski claims his film neither attempts to exclude or rewrite history, but to rather capture the, albeit sometimes unflattering, truth of 1962 Poland.

-The Anti-Defamation League argues the film neglects to include Nazi-Germany’s occupation of Poland and takes issue with Poles being depicted as murdering Jews. The point out this depiction makes it seem like the Poles were responsible for the holocaust and that the film fails to evidence the fact that many Poles risked their own life to save Jews.

-Opponents of the film claim that it may create a false sense of history to present and future viewers who may not know Poland’s history during and after World War II.

-Polikowski claims that he did not want to make another “holocaust” film. He feels that most audiences are intelligent enough to know Nazi-Germany perpetrated the holocaust. He acknowledges that Poles saved many Jews, but doesn’t think this fact is good enough reason to ignore the fact that some Poles also killed Jews.  

-Polikowski tells critics that they may be blinded by Holocaust issues when the real story deals with a greater spectrum of themes.


References to the Controversy

Polish Group Demands ‘Ida’ Add Context About German Occupation

Ida Director Pawel Palikowski Stands Ground Against Complaints of Historical Accuracy

Pawlikowski Says Oscar Nominated Ida, About a Jewish Nun After WWII, ‘Not a Holocaust Film’