Set in 1947, in a Jewish hostel for orphans of the concentration camps, this is a lyrical, humanist examination of the inevitable cost of loss. Dita, a striking young woman who works in the shelter, is barely present in her own life. Courted by numerous men, she's unable to make decisions about her future. Repeating the observation that 'life is not what we wish to have, but what we have,' she decides against emigration, and resigns herself to the drift of days. The quiet inevitability of her story's conclusion, coming as it does in the snow-capped mountains, adds a scale and grandeur to a struggle already given up, among dark interiors and the weary decadence of post-war parties and reconstruction. The b/w visuals, the almost Persian tableaux and Krystyna Mikolajewska's haunting looks all underline the nature of this personal journey, while staying cognizant of the huge social forces that have precipitated it.
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