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Vanessa McMahon

Vanessa is a novel writer, screenwriter, rep and a film producer. She shares her discoveries and film surprises. :-)



Elly Glass Project

I asked Leslie Streit about her film The Elly Glass Project's about Elly (recently deceased at age 95) who rescued her husband Henry from Buchenwald in 1939. In 1948 Henry became the architect of oneof the first solar houses in America.

me: Can you tell me a bit about The Elly Glass Project? What was your inspiration for telling this story?

Leslie: In 2007 my friend, AnneKarin Glass, knowing I had done a previous experimental film about the Holocaust, told me the story of her parents and how her mother had obtained her father's release from Buchenwald. Abrief search led me to learn that Henry P. Glass was the architect of one of the first solar homes in America, a legendary industrial designerand an early advocate for "living green". Henry had passed away in 2003 but her mother Elly was still living independently in the house that Henry built at age (then) 92, still driving herself around and still cooking marvelous European food. She was to me a shining role model of a strong, intelligent woman and how life could be lived graciously with purpose at any age. We went about obtaining her life story rights.

me:  Can you tell us about meeting the real Elly?

Leslie: I met Elly a few months later in her home in Northfield IL and was not disappointed. The house was amazing and full of invention. She was still a great beauty and full of wisdom and wit as well as an outspoken advocate not only for energy and resource conservation but also for human rights. We began filming there and also at the ArchiTech Gallery and the Art Institute of Chicago. We returned several times over the next two years to do more filming and show previews.

me: And how do you feel about the film now that you are finished with the film but Elly cannot see it?

Leslie: I came to love Elly (it would be hard not to) and I'm sorry we couldn't finish the film while she was still with us. We have over 10,000 imagesfrom the family albums and other sources which we will be photo blogging at the website soon. It is a fascinating project to be workingon and I think it's an important film chronicling the early green movement and these 2 amazing people.


interview by: Vanessa McMahon



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