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The film begins with a blaring bagpipe tune, then opens on the hands and faces of the musicians, farmers standing against a grey countryside.Wiktor and Irena are tasked with staffing the new Mazowsze School of folk music and dance. It's while interviewing rural musicians that they meet Zula (Joanna Kulig).In this year of Alfonso Cuaron (who tied an Oscar record with four nods for his own nostalgia-laden black-and-white drama, "Roma"), "Cold War" received three nominations including for best foreign-language film (which Pawlikowski won for his 2015 film, "Ida") and best director.Zal also partnered with Pawlikowski to shoot "Ida" but, aside from the black-and-white palette the look of those two films isn't much alike.The effectiveness of this scene is compounded by its musicality, and the story's use of music (folk, jazz and classical) as a narrative cement is among the reasons this art house film can be enjoyed by a non-art house audience.Wiktor's jazz quartet in the Paris nightclub scene, for instance, is performing an arrangement of a folk tune heard early in the film.Given the story's structure, it's hard not to recognize the end of this film to be among the best of 2018 .
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