A directors point of view on the film and the relationship with those involved.
I met Hannelore and her husband, Jean Devigne, in 1994, years after both my parents passed away. At first, we established a client-artist relationship when they became interested in my paintings. Out of this grew a personal friendship which now has elements resembling a familial relationship. As I got to know Hannelore, I became interested in her childhood and adult years in Berlin after the war. The impetus behind making this film was her stories, my personal attachment to her, and my interest in WWII history and the changing face of Berlin since WWII and the Cold War.
These seven vignettes (stories) of Hannelore’s life are my way of reciprocating all that she’s given me in our friendship. I also believe very strongly that oral histories like hers are valuable records documenting the post-war period and the Cold War years in Berlin, the epicenter of WWII in Europe. What makes these seven vignettes special is that they are so personal. As we are confronted with war on an ongoing basis, I think there is value in narrative historical war documentaries that deal with the real and direct impacts of warfare on human beings. Personal testimonies offer a specific, concrete means for understanding the horrors of war. And because they are so personal and real, they avoid the abstraction and separation that are possible when war is discussed through the language of politics, operations, or policies. Documentaries of this nature offer a unique opportunity for understanding.
Sysnopsis - After the War with Hannelore
Hannelore Scheiber experienced history as few ever will. Born in Berlin in January 1945, she spent her earliest years coping with the city’s treacherous post-war politics and grew to adulthood on the very front lines of the Cold War.
Returning home for the first time since she emigrated to the west 20 years earlier, Hannelore revisits family homes and youthful haunts, conjuring the bittersweet stories of her youth along with the often tragic history of her city. From her family’s struggle through the Russian blockade and the Berlin Airlift, through her school years in the partitioned city, to the very construction of the Berlin Wall, Hannelore gives touching first-hand testimony to the events that shaped her world and indeed, the world at large. Far from embittered, she is a lively and insightful tour-guide, tempering wise reflection with unbridled joy at finally being home again.
Using a mix of period photography and film, captivating pencil animations and live-action footage, director G. Scott MacLeod has crafted both a moving personal portrait of the unforgettable Hannelore as well as an artful look into the reality of growing up in Berlin after the Second World War.
Film Bio G. Scott MacLeod
G. Scott MacLeod is a multimedia artist in the truest sense of the term. A critically acclaimed painter and photographer whose work has been exhibited around the world, he is also a performing songwriter and recording artist.
Born in Red Deer, Alberta, MacLeod’s family spent time in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia before relocating to Montreal, where he was educated in both English and French. His many-faceted career in the arts, along with his lifelong love of history and storytelling spurred an interest in documentary filmmaking. He was awarded a Main Film production grant in 2006 and selected for the National Film Board of Canada’s Filmmakers Assistance Program in 2007. After the War with Hannelore is his first film.
MacLeod holds a BFA from Concordia University. His artwork is in many permanent collections, including that of the National Gallery of Canada. He lives in Montreal.