Cold War, a Polish, British and French film about a mismatched romance set in 1950s Poland, Berlin, Yugoslavia and Paris, has claimed five honours at the 2018 European Film Awards, including one for best film.
The film’s writer and director Paweł Pawlikowski picked up two personal awards for those activities, while star Joanna Kulig collected one for best actress. Editor Jarosław Kamiński was also recognised.
Collecting his awards, Pawlikowski said: “I want to thank my producers because they didn’t want to make a film for commercial purposes, but to tell a story. Thank god this kind of cinema is being made.”
— Cold War (@ColdWarMovie) December 16, 2018
While Kulig appeared more than a little happy when her award was announced:
— European Film Awards (@EuroFilmAwards) December 16, 2018
The film was inspired by Pawlikowski’s real-life parents Wiktor and Zula, after whom its main characters are named, although ultimately it diverges substantially from the real events.
“The more I thought about them once they were gone, the less I understood them,” Pawlikowski has said. “I’ve lived for a long time and seen a lot, but my parents’ story put all the other ones in the shadow. They were the most interesting dramatic characters I’ve ever come across.”
Alongside the five awards for Cold War, British actor Ralph Fiennes was honoured for his lifetime achievements in world cinema. Picking up his award, Fiennes lamented how the UK’s departure from the EU is tearing his country apart.
“I have wondered what it is to feel European. Is it a feeling of belonging, of shared history, shared wounds? In England right now, there’s only the noise of division,” he said. “But with film we can celebrate our differences and our common humanity.”
Words: Craig Nicholson
Photo: MK2 Films