Synopsis: THE GIRL WHO WORE FREEDOM brings us to Normandy, France. Once an idyllic landscape, Normandy had succumbed to German invaders who overran its farms, its manors, its countryside.
Here we meet Dany Patrix, Maurice Lecoueur, Henri-Jean Renaud, and others, who recount their unique relationships with the Allied forces who liberated Normandy on June 6, 1944. The journey from occupation to liberation, to acceptance and forgiveness to gratitude and pride, is explored through interviews with French survivors and American veterans in this powerful, personal film that tells stories handed down over two generations.
We visit Brecourt Manor, the site of the battle between the men of Easy Company – known as the Band of Brothers – and a German battery. We hear from the children of D-Day, who were cared for by American soldiers after their families were killed in the onslaught. We explore the nature of war, of forgiveness, of gratitude through interviews with French survivors and American veterans.
We travel today’s United States with Flo Plana, who seeks out heroes of World War II to collect and curate their stories for the Utah Beach D-Day Museum. We meet veterans like Ceo Bauer, Charles Shay, and Bob DeVinney, who recount their experiences and the relationships they built over the summer of 1944.
Normandy itself is now a living war museum, with shrapnel on the beaches, bullet holes in its walls, and blood staining its church pews. Those that were there have vowed never to forget the lessons of World War II and to pass down the value of freedom to their children and their children’s children.
The film closes on contemporary D-Day celebrations of remembrance and gratitude, where French citizens of all ages celebrate those who were and are willing to defend freedom because they, the people of Normandy, know all too well that freedom is not free.
Three years ago, I knew little about France and had only a cursory understanding of what happened on D-Day. That all changed in June 2015 when I followed my son and his unit to the annual D-Day celebrations in France. It was the most patriotic event I have ever seen. During my first moments in Normandy, I felt like I’d been spun out of a time machine. I was surrounded by World War II veterans walking around with big red kisses on their faces, given to them by grateful French women of all ages. I stood there, deeply moved. My son was approached by a French woman who asked for a picture. Delighted and proud, I introduced myself as his mother and offered to take the picture. This natural, instinctive decision would change my life. I soon learned that I was standing face to face with history itself – Dany Patrix Boucherie. Dany became THE GIRL WHO WORE FREEDOM when her mother made her a red, white, and blue dress from parachutes, which she wore at the first D-Day commemoration. Then, as now, her personification of gratitude towards the soldiers who liberated her community keeps the memories alive through annual D-Day celebrations and personal relationships. Very few documentaries focus on the experiences of the French citizens of Normandy who lived through D-Day. A powerful, personal story of the acts of sacrifice and kindness by American troops that moved the French to fall in love, THE GIRL WHO WORE FREEDOM reminds viewers of who we are as Americans when we are at our very best.
Director, Writer, Executive Producer – Christian Taylor’s 35-year entertainment industry career spans stage, screen, and sound booth, as she has been talent, producer, director, casting director, and coach. Christian began her career in the entertainment industry interviewing senators on Capitol Hill with the TV/Radio department of the Senate. She received her BA in Theater and Broadcasting from The Catholic University while working in radio and TV on Capitol Hill. THE GIRL WHO WORE FREEDOM is her directorial debut.