The film consists of atmospheric and personal memories, supplemented with slides and photographs, coloured drawings and interviews. "Atmospheric" because the filmmaker hardly knew her father, they were separated in the second World War, when she was three and a half years old.
Leo Meter was an artist, who was pursued in Germany due to antifascist activities and fled to the Netherlands in 1934. In Amsterdam he worked as an illustrator and theatre designer and was active in the resistance. In Amsterdam he met the Jewish Elisabeth Plaut who had fled from Germany as well, they married in 1936. Their daughter Barbara was born in 1939. In 1943 Leo Meter was arrested and imprisoned by the Gestapo. He was transported to the Eastern Front.
From Ukraine, he wrote letters to his daughter which he illustrated beautifully. Much later, in 1988 , these letters were published as a book titled 'Briefe an Barbara’. The book has been translated into many languages, including English.
The film is largely set in Amsterdam, apart from short sections in Cologne and Berlin, where Leo Meter lived and worked, and in Poland, where he died.
The film is a document about a unique man who enjoyed his life to the full, until circumstances made this impossible. The tone of the film is not only sad…it also is a testimony to the strength and optimism of Leo Meters character, as it is witnessed also in his letters from the Ukraine. The portrait of Leo Meter outlines the cinematic qualities of the director, who is also his daughter.
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