A 2018 Palme d’Or nominee was Cold War, and it is excellent. It is a short film about a long and tumultuous romance. Indeed, if I were to dare criticize this superb movie, it is in that it could have been longer and thus further exploited the story of enduring passion of the central characters. That the film (arguably) withheld length veers towards irrelevance when one considers the captivating acting (especially from Joanna Kulig), and the masterful use of music. The best films have great dialogue and great music, and music in this one is one of the central characters. One poignant scene where music lays bare the sentiment of the story comes when one of the two main characters, Wiktor, overwhelmed by emotion, interrupts his jazz performance, and enters into playing a Chopin medley fueled by heartbreak and longing.
With their differences, this story is reminiscent of the unwavering commitment to impossible love that is a central theme in Gabriel García Márquez’s famous 1985 novel. And like in the novel, love conquers all odds. In Cold War, a tempestuous couple survives disillusionment, betrayal, time, and distance by holding on to their love through courage, brutal honesty, and truth.