The Landscape as a Silent Witness of a Fragile Memory in Paweł Pawlikowski’s 2013 Film Ida




(film) photography, Ginzburg, Holocaust, Ida, landscape, fragile memory, (post)memory


This article focuses on Paweł Pawlikowski’s 2013 film Ida, analysing how the formal and aesthetic aspects question silent witnesses about the difficult past using pictures as a useful testifier. In the context of Poland’s national memory, its current political discourse and the Polish-Jewish relations during World War II, Ida offers a significant contribution. The process of scrutinising this difficult past becomes a journey, a troublesome event when a remembrance must be constructed and experienced. The film journey offers a possibility to get back to this period of time and encourages us to pose certain questions: how do sites of memory remain with us through cinematographic or photographic representations? How can we define this physical and mental landscape of the journey as being a fragile memory? Drawing on Carlo Ginzburg’s index paradigm, the author proceeds to reflect upon the traumatic events of the Holocaust in the Polish landscape through two important photographic moments related to cinema.


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Author Biography

Sylwia Frach, University of Opole

Is an Assistant Professor (Ph.D. in Film Studies) in the Political Science Department at the University of Opole in Poland and Research Associate at IRCAV – University of Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris 3 in France. She teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in film, new media, and popular culture. Her research interests include the works of Pier Paolo Pasolini, film and media history since 1945, collective and cultural memory, the relationship between art and politics.


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How to Cite

Frach, Sylwia. 2022. “The Landscape As a Silent Witness of a Fragile Memory in Paweł Pawlikowski’s 2013 Film Ida”. Politeja 19 (3(78):97-110.



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