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Paweł Pawlikowski’s Cold War: Music, Space, and Identity (04.2023)

Type of publication
Article / Artikel / Artykuł

The chapter examines how Paweł Pawlikowski’s Zimna wojna (Cold War, 2018) revisits and revises generic formulas of the musical, integrating them into the mode of art cinema to engage with Polish post-war reality. Specifically, I focus on the leitmotif song "Dwa serduszka, cztery oczy" (Two Hearts and Four Eyes), which Cold War presents in four renditions in various localities and temporalities. As the author argues, the symbolic trajectory of the song from the south-Carpathian village through the communist concert hall to trendy cafés and salons in Paris parallels the actual and imagined movement of the Polish post-war self migrating from the countryside to cities, simultaneously dreaming about the West. Specifically, the "traveling" song signifies the Polish self’s displacement in Cold War Europe and Poland as well. While tracing the changes to a Polish self, the film sets up binaries that are signaled in the leitmotif song’s title, yet these are not reconciled toward the end, but, rather, demolished.

Cultural studies Film studies Media studies
Cinema Film analysis History of the Polish People's Republic
Pol-Int team

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