The Look of Love (and State) in Cold War

Set in the late 1940s through to the early to-mid 1950s, crossing geographical borders and gaping cultural divides, Cold War required an enormous amount of research in order to capture the aesthetic authenticity of a time and place. Here, the film's art directors, Marcel Slawinski and Katarzyna Sobanska-Strzalkowska, share some of the photographs that inspired the look and, by extension, the feel of Cold War.


The story begins in the east, in Poland where a team of composer (Wiktor, played by Tomoasz Kot) and choreographer (Irene, played by Agata Kulesza) travel the country's remote villages in search of an authentic provincial music. This state sponsored quest for a sound that echoes the values of the governing regime and the local talent to perform it, is based on real events that took place in Poland after the close of the Second World War. The resultant group toured Poland and East Berlin, performing their state sanctioned sound.


Later the story moves west as Wiktor and Zula abscond Poland for Paris in search of liberation. There, they find jazz clubs and garrets where the people and the music are free.


The romance between Zula and Wiktor is by turns frenzied and fraught. They ache and yearn and wait, they fight and hurt and grow cold.

Paweł Pawlikowski's Cold War plays in cinemas and exclusively on demand at Curzon Home Cinema from Friday 31 August.