Well, you have to understand that this documentary is made from the point-of-view of a father. The character is his own, so there is that. But it’s funny, that, if I make a documentary about a friend or a child, then that will be my friend, and vice versa.
“When I was a kid, my father was a pilot, a very skilled pilot, and he had gone up into the sky. And he shot a movie, and everyone thought it was a good movie – and they didn’t understand it, they were too young.”
I found this interview with your father, who had a lot of knowledge about aircraft from flying, particularly the Fokker D.VII, to explain how he and his son met, what they did, how it changed the course of their lives, what he thought about the film.
He was a great guy. He had such a wonderful sense of humor. You could go to him with the slightest hint of a question and he would say. ‘I don’t know’, he’d say, ‘how you do what you do’. I have never met one person who didn’t like what he did. You could sit and chat like this – it was lovely. My father, like many of his generation, was a man – not a gentleman – but he saw the world through his own eyes, like a great novelist. He would be very generous to people, give them things. The family car was an old Chevy. He just liked that.
The Fokker D.VII is a very famous aircraft. Does it take some persuading to fly it?
I don’t like to be photographed. Actually, I’m never photographed. There are cameras there, and there’s always a story coming out of this. I don’t like to think about flying it, because I never did. I don’t fly it, I can’t drive it, I just don’t like to think about that kind of thing.
One thing I would say of your father: he was a great guy – he enjoyed the good life. He wouldn’t let you see his life; he would only let you see parts of his life. When he died, he was 82, and I still think it was one of the best years of his life. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. He worked full-time and was a well-off person. He had a home there in the Ural Mountains – he
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