Two of the best movies of the last 20 years have come out of a zone of experience that for half a century was hidden from most Americans: the landscape of Eastern Europe between World War II and the fall of the Berlin Wall. The more famous is The Lives of Others, a portrait of the East German police state in its twilight years, the work of the wonderfully named German director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. The other, on a smaller canvas, is the black-and-white film Ida, by the Polish filmmaker Pawel Pawlikowski, which follows a young soon-to-be-nun in early-1960s
Something to Consider
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