Felicitas Frieda Asta Krage 1921-present
I love my nan. She’s wise, brave, humane, and great company. The death of my mother, leaving few pictures, or anything else to remind us of her, inspired me to create some kind of record of our nan. This video is that memorial/denkmal.
Hamburg was my nan’s hometown. Whilst on holiday there with my nan and sister, in 2004, I had the idea of filming her recollections in the locations of their happening.
Whilst she was born and grew up in Hamburg, she left her difficult home to join the circus in 1935, at age 14, travelling around Europe with the troupe until war broke out in 1939.
She married a German sailor (Hans Lehnert) and gave birth to my mother in 1942 (Gina Lehnert). He was killed in the Dambusters Raid of May 1943. She raised my mother and cared for her grandparents with little help and in a city that experienced some of the most intense bombing of the war, of any war.
In 1946 she met a Scottish soldier (Edward ‘Ted’ Riley – grandpa) and they moved back to England in 1948; they were married in 1951. Life, thereafter, became ‘normal’. They had ordinary jobs and moved from Blackpool to Sterling, where my mum grew up and was schooled, and then to London and finally Winchester.
The film: I hired a Sony PD150 for the day and dragged my nan around the city. My sister was camera-op and edited the footage using FCP (Final Cut Pro). I was PD (Producer Director) – trying to boss my sister around, as usual.