La sceneggiatrice e regista Polly Steele (Lena: Bride of Ice) ha cominciato a girare nel Surrey Let Me Go, basato sulle memorie omonime di Helga Schneider. Il film racconta come quattro generazioni di donne siano condizionate dalla decisione della madre di Schneider, Traudi, di abbandonare la sua famiglia e unirsi ai nazisti delle SS durante la Seconda guerra mondiale, per diventare guardia del campo di concentramento di Auschwitz-Birkenau.
Il cast è capeggiato dalla quattro volte nominata ai BAFTA Juliet Stevenson (Departure [+]) e include Jodhi May (Ginger & Rosa [+]), Lucy Boynton (Sing Street [+]), Éva Magyar(Villmark 2 [+]), Abhin Galeya, Stanley Weber, Simona Hughes e Elizabeth Webster.
David Broder (Some People Don’t Get Football, I Don’t Get Those People) e Lizzie Pickering si occupano della produzione per In Trust Films, compagnia da loro fondata di recente insieme a Steele e al produttore esecutivo Georges Tsitos.
Dopo tre settimane nel Surrey, la squadra si sposterà a Londra e poi a Vienna. Il compositore della colonna sonora del film è Philip Selway, batterista della band di culto Radiohead. Michael Wood (Stop at Nothing: The Lance Armstrong Story) si occupa della direzione della fotografia e Daniel Goddard (The Arbor [+]) del montaggio.
"Siamo felici di fare un film veramente indipendente, con attrici straordinarie nei ruoli principali e una squadra geniale, composta per il 50% da donne. E’ arrivato il momento di raccontare questa storia, e siamo molto emozionati di portarla sul grande schermo", ha affermato Steele.
Helga trailer book del film https://youtu.be/Xve4NZQ5Fdc
POLLY STEELE (‘Lena: The Bride of Ice’; ‘Women Talking Dirty’)
Polly is an award-winning, UK-based, independent film-maker, renowned for her ability to tell the most sensitive stories. Documentary work has included BAFTA nominated Tantrums & Tiaras, the inside story of Elton John’s life (ITV), Kofi Annan,The Eye of the Storm (BBC), Ewan McGregor, A Scot in the Arctic, and Grierson-nominated The World’s Youngest Surgeon. Most recently (Jan 2015) she shot and directed Rich, Russian and Living in London for BBC 2. She was a co-founder of Elton John’s Rocket Pictures with David Furnish, developing and producing films together for 5 years. In 2010 Polly was commissioned by George Films to write an original screenplay and, as a visual artist, May 2012 saw a major exhibition of Polly’s video portraits commissioned for the opening of London’s newest Mint hotel. Her subjects included Tony Benn, Jason Isaacs and star of The Wire, Michael K Williams.
“What a joy to work with two of my oldest friends Lizzie and Georges, bringing stories alive that I care passionately about and getting to invite people to be a part of that, in the hope that we might just encourage the world to open up, understand more and reconnect with each other.”
ORIGINAL MUSIC COMPOSER
We are honoured to have world-renowned drummer, solo singer and songwriter PHILIP SELWAY from RADIOHEAD,as Soundtrack Composer for Let Me Go. Philip has also jointly composed music for a Merce Cunningham Event for Rambert Dance Company. In addition to recording and touring with Radiohead, he has released two solo albums and has worked with the Samaritans since 1991.
DAVID BRODER David has worked as a Location Manager and Production Manager on large budget features for many years including ‘The King’s Speech’, The Imitation Game’ and ‘Eastern Promises’. He has just finished Spielberg’s ‘BFG’ as the ‘Unit Production Manager’ and most importantly for us Production and Location managed ‘Woman in Gold’ starring Helen Mirren which was shot entirely in Vienna and London in 2014. David brings a wealth of experience.
PRODUCER (In Trust Films)
LIZZIE PICKERING Ex-Channel 4 (Channel 4 Daily News/Big Breakfast). Following the death of her eldest son Harry, Lizzie became a founding member of the fundraising team at Helen & Douglas House, helping to raise £5 million a year for Hospice care for children and young adults.
For 12 years Lizzie produced fundraising events and supported the Major Donor and Corporate teams too. During those years she co-produced a yearly comedy show, Childish Things, featuring among others Michael McIntyre, Miranda Hart, Hugh Laurie, Bill Bailey, Jimmy Carr, Rowan Atkinson, the cast of QI, Radiohead, Jamie Cullum, Rob Brydon and many more.
“I will always help Helen & Douglas House, but have also yearned to go back to my old work and 2014 felt like the right year. I love working with Polly Steele and our business partner Georges. We support Polly with Community building, Production and Funding help for her wealth of creativity and talent.”
GEORGES TSITOS joined the Let Me Go team in Nov 2014. Georges has a successful track record both in developing European companies into successful and healthy businesses, and as a motorbike racer he can regularly be found reaching speeds of 300km/hr. This combination of courage and control are invaluable to our Let Me Go team. He also acts as an early stage investor for start-up projects and provides business development advice to Boards.
“I love working with this highly sensitive and gifted team and am thrilled after many years of working in the business world to be able to contribute my skills to a more creative and fulfilling purpose.”
All Publicity enquiries:
Nick Pourgourides, Axiom Films
T: 0207 243 3111
The story of the making of the film
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.
Synopsis of the film
Let Me Go is a film about mothers and daughters, it is about ghosts from the past and the impact they leave on the present.
Developed from Helga Schneider’s true life story, Let Me Go explores the effect on Helga’s life of being abandoned by her mother, Traudi in 1941 when she wasjust four years old.
The film is set in the year 2000 following not only Helga and Traudi’s journeys but the next two generations and how Beth, Helga’s daughter and Emily her granddaughter are confronted with the long-term effects of Traudi’s leaving.
When Helga receives a letter telling her that Traudi is close to death, it is Emily with whom Helga shares the truth. Emily volunteers to accompany her to Vienna to meet the great-grandmother she thought was dead, and experience the unraveling of the darkest of family secrets.