And We're Off!

Bologna visit: 4th-7th January 2015

The team visited Bologna for Polly to make a short film/interview with Helga Schneider for the launch in March of our film funding. This was a great bonding visit for us all, working out our roles, strategy and vision for both the film and the wider platform and connecting with Helga whose memoir and message is at the heart of this first project. We visited her in her flat in the heart of Bologna old town and were welcomed with love and warmth. The walls are decorated with Helga’s own artwork, she is surrounded by her books and photos and posters of her work and family. A shrine to working her way through her grief, it is full of colour and life. Helga is stylish and full of energy which belies not only her 77 years but the trauma she has suffered throughout her life.

Polly: "Going back to the source of the material was invigorating and inspiring and reminded us all about why we want to tell this story."

Peter: "Our main work took place in 2 days that felt like a week. I see Bologna as a gentle, medieval giant and we witnessed scars that leave traces for lifetimes, passed on from generation to generation, morphing but resisting."

Helga sent the following encouragement on our return:

Dear Friends, dear Polly, Lizzie, George and Peter!

I waited for your arrival in Bologna with curiosity, a little apprehension and finally with joy. The privilege to know you it was all ours! After seven years of uncertainty about the fate of the project “Let me go”, I felt in you the determination to achieve Polly’s dream which she has remained so faithfully attached to.

At the same time continuing to realize that this film will be a difficult task, because the drama of the plot is hard and disconcerting. A sort of warning against the enemies of humanity: the hate, violence, racism, anti-Semitism and ideological fanaticism that cause blood, destruction and death. It should also be a warning against the seduction of evil, that always wins so easily especially on young people, taking advantage of their naivety and inexperience.

A reporter for the “Corriere della Sera” wrote about “Let Me Go”: “It is a book that is read with bated breath.” If this happens with a book, why it should not happen while watching the movie?

Thanks to Peter for the excellent translation work while you were here!

Dear friends, I send to all of you a big hug and, as the German say: “toi toi toi!” which means: “Good luck!”

Greetings from Bologna,

Helga Schneider

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