“Ida,” Polish, subtitled. December 22, 2021 (2013), DVD [Criterion Collection]. Polish director/writer Pawel Pawlikowski works in black-and-white for a reason. The starkness and hard edges make for heightened intensity even when the subjects are human interiors. Raised by nuns as an orphan after World War II, Anna (Agata Trzbuchowska) is a novice about to take her orders and become a nun. However, the Mother Superior orders her to go see her only living relative, her Aunt Wanda (Agata Kulesza), a hard-drinking, burned-out Communist militant—Red Wanda, former partisan-now judge in the Peoples’ Court. There she learns her birth name, Ida, and that her parents were Jewish. The two set out to uncover this wartime past that saw some Poles help, and others hunt, their Jewish neighbors. It turns into a journey of discovery, both personal and social, for both niece and aunt. Like his recent “Cold War,” Pawlikowski’s dialogue here is lean but hard hitting, and the sharp black-and-white glistens with the pain of the past and the cold emptiness of the present.