“War is not healthy for children and other living things” reads the poster on the wall of Lois’s new flat in the closing shot of A Home Far Away.
Those few words are the metaphor of a lifetime spent engaging against war, the proliferation of nuclear weapons, death sentence and racial discrimination, as depicted in the historical movie A Home Far Away by Peter Entell. The documentary invites the viewer to explore the life of WILPFer Lois Snow, from the 1940s, when as a young Broadway and Hollywood actress she meets her husband, Edgar Snow, to today.
A Home Far Away
The movie opens with 90-year old Lois, who looks at some old albums and documents, while she remembers her past and thinks that her beautiful house in Switzerland is going to be raised to the ground and she is going to move to a new flat.
The extraordinary story of her life begins when she meets the world acclaimed journalist Edgar Snow, who becomes her husband in 1949. Edgar Snow is the first Western journalist to have accessed a forbidden area in China to meet, interview and film Mao Tse-tung and Chou En-lai at a time when they were considered bandits by the local government. He is also the author of the controversial book Red Star over China, which is an account of the Chinese Communist movement from its foundation until the late 1930s.
Under McCarthy, both Lois and her husband are blacklisted due to their fascination for the Middle Country and their allegedly communist sympathies. They are harassed by the FBI and in 1959 they leave the US to go into exile in Switzerland and never return to America.
Lois and China
Lois goes to China for the first time with her husband in 1970 and she is amazed by the warm welcome they receive from Mao. But Edgar is deceived by the opportunities Mao’s Revolution has missed in eradicating poverty, illiteracy, famine and corruption.
Two years after the travel to China, Edgar dies of cancer, but Lois continues to write articles and deal with Mao, the Chines authorities and the international press.
However, her privileged relation with China does not prevent her from denouncing human rights violations in the country and after the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre she flies to Beijing to opposes openly the Chinese authorities.
A strong-minded woman
If you happen to be in Switzerland, you can get a chance to meet her and the film director, Peter Entell, at the premiere of the film on the following dates:
Monday, 25thFebruary at 6:30 PM at cinema BIO (Carouge).
Tuesday, 5th March at 8 PM at cinema Capitole (Nyon).