Ida follows Anna, a novitiate nun who only knows the walls of the orphanage she has grown up in, as she connects with her only living relative, her aunt Wanda (played to perfection by Agata Kulesza) and discovers that’s she’s not actually the Catholic Anna after all – but instead Ida, a Jewish survivor of the occupation of Poland. A slim (82 minutes – see…not all movies have to be 150+ minutes) but dense picture, Ida is not nearly as fatalistic as that synopsis would suggest, and that’s thanks to wonderful direction, a solid script, and two stunning performances. Director Pawel Pawlikowski’s approach to faith in Ida is quite restrained and mature compared to some of his earlier efforts (religious extremism is touched upon in his wonderful film My Summer of Love), and that hands-off nature allows the film to travel down treacherous roads quietly and with dignity. Beautifully lensed, lead actress Agata Trzebuchowska’s deep-black eyes are haunting throughout but never obvious – she’s seeing the violent and complicated world for the first time but it isn’t traumatizing her but instead informing her existence. A lesser filmmaker would have made this film about faith being shaken, but instead Pawlikowski guides the audience towards the realization that actions decades ago can ripple through generations of lives, but that in youth and innocence, life can repair the sins of the past.