In Ida a virginal teenager who’s been raised in a Polish convent since her infancy is summoned by the mother superior and informed that, before she takes her vows of ordination to become a nun, she must travel to the city and meet her only living relative, an aunt who refused to take her in after her parents died. Poland is still under communist rule in the mid-60s, and the aunt is a powerful magistrate known for sentencing enemies of the state to death (“Red Wanda,” people call her). From this embittered and alcoholic woman, the young novitiate learns that her real name is Ida Lebenstein, that her father was Jewish, and that her mother perished alongside him during the Nazi occupation; together Ida and Wanda set off for the little village of Piaski to learn where the parents are buried and how they met their fate. Wanda cautions Ida before they leave: “What if you go there and discover there is no God?” Continue reading >>