Facing up to the past.
A daughter struggles to come to terms with her mother’s wartime past in British writer-director Polly Steele’s Let Me Go, a crowd-funded indie drama loosely inspired by the true story of Helga Schneider.
Juliet Stevenson’s widowed London dressmaker, Helga, sets off in 2000 for her native Vienna to confront the mother (Karin Bertling) who abandoned her as a child in 1941. The old woman is frail and befuddled, it turns out, but defiantly unrepentant.
The pair’s emotionally charged reunion packs quite a punch. But the film’s attempt to show troubled mother-daughter relationships being passed down the generations, with dispensable scenes involving Helga’s daughter (Jodhi May) and granddaughter (Lucy Boynton), is far less convincing.
Certificate 15. Runtime 101 mins. Director Polly Steele
Let Me Go debuts on Sky Cinema Premiere on 23 January. Available on Digital from Evolutionary Films.
A film critic for over 25 years, Jason admits the job can occasionally be glamorous – sitting on a film festival jury in Portugal; hanging out with Baz Luhrmann at the Chateau Marmont; chatting with Sigourney Weaver about The Archers – but he mostly spends his time in darkened rooms watching films. He’s also written theatre and opera reviews, two guide books on Rome, and competed in a race for Yachting World, whose great wheeze it was to send a seasick film critic to write about his time on the ocean waves. But Jason is happiest on dry land with a classic screwball comedy or Hitchcock thriller.
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