The story of Let Me Go came to me, literally, in a book shop one day. A small paperback exposed itself slightly crookedly off the shelf so that I would see it and that was that…. I flew to Italy to meet Helga Schneider whose life story it depicts.
Why did I pick this book? Well I suppose it mirrored something in me and I am fascinated with trauma, how long it lasts, how it seems to be inherited through our DNA (now substantiated in several scientific studies) and how we can let it go.
I was so intrigued by this topic that I went away from film-making for 5 years to be trained as a life coach, NLP therapist and specialist in helping young people to deal with traumatic childhoods.
After seven years of writing and re-writing the script, working with various different companies and even putting it aside for awhile, somehow the stars have realigned, the right team came together, the energy changed and here we are going full speed ahead.
BUT our film is a contemporary story following not only Helga and her mother’s journeys but the next two generations and how they are confronted with the long-term effects of choices made during the Second World War.
We made these creative decisions with Helga’s blessing. The two youngest generations are fictitious characters based on information given to us by Helga who wanted to protect the real identity of her close family members. She understands now that her story has continued to affect those who came after her and that is what the film focuses on. Her family has been plagued by tragedy, suicides and deeply dysfunctional relationships. She explained to me that her writing and her books keep her alive.
Helga believes that we need to learn from the past to avoid perpetuating our own wounds onto future generations.