Pawel Pawlikowski had no idea that a small, black-and-white art film would end up being his most successful film yet, both critically and commercially. Ida has been a global crossover box office hit, becoming the most popular Polish film in the last 25 years. Pawlikowski wrote the film, combining two characters he had discovered in real life, one a Catholic priest in Poland who discovered he was Jewish late in life, and another a sweet, older woman who he found out had been a Stalinist prosecutor. He also set the film in 1962 Poland, a period which had always interested him for its visual look and strong music scene.