The Statue of Liberty has always been an icon. A symbol for freedom. A welcoming presence to anyone arriving from abroad. In recent days, the Statue of Liberty has been in the news as the current administration rewrote what is written on her, and earlier today Madeleine Albright said, “I think the Statue of Liberty is weeping.”
Filmmakers Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato bring us a new documentary, Liberty: Mother of Exiles, exploring the past and present of the iconic symbol of freedom.
The documentary follows legendary fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg, “godmother”
of the statue, in her quest to discover how sculptor Auguste Bartholdi’s dream became a
reality and what the statue means to people around the world.
Liberty: Mother of Exiles casts a new light on one of America’s greatest symbols
of freedom and explores its surprising history, the challenges it has faced over the years
and its impact on generations. Like most Americans, Lady Liberty has an immigrant story
and over the course of the film, Diane von Furstenberg, herself an immigrant, realizes
how intimately connected her background is with the statue.
“Making this documentary on the history of the Statue of Liberty, and discovering the
layers of passion that made it happen, has been an emotional journey,” comments Diane
von Furstenberg. “She truly is the symbol of freedom and her torch is a magic wand!”
“Lady Liberty, chains broken and striding forward, has become the symbol of the struggle
for freedom all around the world” say directors and producers Fenton Bailey and Randy
Barbato. “As the Mother of Exiles, she welcomes millions of immigrants seeking a better
life in America. This film could not be a more timely reminder of the values that the statue
has always stood for.”
Liberty: Mother of Exiles begins with the groundbreaking ceremony for the new
museum at the base of the Statue of Liberty and goes on to reveal its dramatic history.
The film spotlights the descendants of Édouard de Laboulaye and Alexandre-Gustave
Eiffel, who also played key roles in the creation of the statue, along with almost 70
subjects whose lives have been touched by it, from street artists and factory workers to
the families who lived on Liberty Island until their homes were destroyed by Hurricane
Liberty: Mother of Exiles will be released by HBO Films this October.