This post is for The Accidental Genealogist’s blogging prompts for Women’s History Month.
Today’s prompt: If a famous director wanted to make a movie about one of your female ancestors who would it be? What actress would you cast in the role and why?
This movie would certainly have to be about my grandmother and great-aunt’s escape from Latvia during the Second World War, and the journey that took them from Latvia through Poland and Germany to Denmark, and then eventually on to Canada. You can read more about this journey here.
After careful consideration, I’ve decided to cast two British actresses. I would have liked to cast some Latvian or Eastern European stars, however, most of them are blonde, and my grandmother and great-aunt had dark brown/black hair when they were young. I would cast Annabel Scholey as my grandmother, and Zoë Tapper as my great-aunt Marta. Since this would inevitably become a love story, since both of them met their husbands in the Displaced Persons camps, it would also be important to cast my grandfather Aleks and great-uncle Jānis as well. For these roles, I’ll choose Samuel Barnett as my grandfather and Aidan Turner as my great-uncle (Aidan is Irish, not British like the rest, but since my grandmother, great-aunt and grandfather are from central Latvia while my great-uncle is from the western part of the country, I think there could be sufficient variation in accent to allow for this, if not, Aidan does a good RP accent as well). And before anyone asks, yes, I am indeed a fan of BBC’s Being Human and Desperate Romantics. Having seen these four actors being able to do both tragedy and comedy – both prevalent in the abovementioned shows, sometimes in the same scene – I think they would be able to handle the demands of such a production.
It would be a wonderful epic movie, and I don’t think it has been done before, at least not on an international release scale. Most Second World War movies focus on either the Allies or the Axis powers, and don’t pay much attention to the people who were trapped in between. It’s about time such a movie was made!