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Nellin Wiederspiel Portrait
by Nancy Tilitz

Being ready for the unexpected is not only the task of the film director (see interview with Rike Holtz). Needing to take a sit-down break I eyed the rare vacant seat near two spritely ladies, who reminded me of my mom.

After a few minutes of their chatting away in a language I did not understand, perhaps Polish or Danish, Albert Wiederspiel, the director of the FilmFest Hamburg slid in next to the more glamorous woman. One saw the resemblance immediately, she was his mother. Their interaction was so lively, lovely and loving, it was like no one else was in the room but those two. Silently kicking myself for not having my pad with me, I gingerly interrupted them introducing myself as having drawn the director himself at past press conferences and saying I would love to draw the stunning lady.

She graciously made an appointment to meet before a film they would see the following day at the Abaton. And again she was so chic in her deep purple dress, pearls and beautifully manicured hands in a clear red which emphasized their gracefulness.

A professional herself, Nellin Wiederspiel’s career was in data-processing as lecturer for Russian Philology in Warsaw, preparing students for political studies. She now lies in Denmark with other members of her family including her sister who also attended the festival. She speaks many languages and also speaks with her son every day on the telephone.

After a scant 20 minutes Herr Wiederspiel appeared and with a hesitant then approving nod at the drawing, said, “Can I have my mother back?”