Following the screening of the first two films to be featured in the Film with Pride online season on Friday 22nd May, we speak to the team behind The Love Letter and learn about the inspiration behind the short film.
Set in 2018, The Love Letter sees a struggling couple, Phoebe and Faith, embark on a mission to find Hannah, the author of an unopened love letter written in 1945, and reunite her with Belle, the woman she loved many years ago, posing the question – can true love span the decades?
A journey between two couples, young and old, love is the cornerstone between them both. Speaking about the film, Director Nathan Hannawin, said: “Faith, Phoebe and Isaiah’s story reunites a wavering relationship as they put together the pieces of the puzzle when tracking down the correct recipient of the letter.
“Many people, including myself, have experienced relationship issues, but the process of repairing this is something vital and personal to everyone. Understanding one’s own weaknesses and faults is a difficult task and discussing what you find in your partner that causes friction is an even more difficult process. Unfortunately, there are a countless number of people who cannot resolve their issues, but solidifying Faith and Phoebe’s love is the driving force to The Love Letter.
“But when we experience true love we know it is timeless, and no matter what happens the flame will always be there. It’s difficult to imagine quite how the characters of Belle and Hannah would be feeling after all their years apart, and the life they would have led whilst separated from each other. We all know the term ‘the one who got away’ but given the moment, given the opportunity to reunify this, I think anyone would take the chance with open arms.”
Tackling such a universal theme, we asked the team if it was an important decision that the lost letter was dated back so far in time, especially given that this made it more likely that Belle or Hannah may not even be alive.
For writer Jade Winters the decision was pivotal. “The inspiration came from wanting to show the progress of LGBT rights through the decades,” she said. “I thought an ideal way would be to have a couple from a different time period – 1945, when being openly gay was frowned upon, to 2018 where gay marriage is legal.”
Despite both couples central to the story being mixed race, the story doesn’t focus on the characters’ different ethnicities. It does, however, highlight an undercurrent of racial discrimination when Hannah tells Belle her family will never accept their relationship.
Jade said: “As a mixed raced woman whose mother is white and father who’s black, I felt it was relevant to have two mixed race couples in the story. The 1940s were a time where my parents both faced an horrendous backlash for dating outside of their ethnic group. I wanted to reflect this change in attitudes over the years where now, even though there is still some stigma it isn’t as frowned upon as much as it used to be.”
Reflecting on the film’s central question ‘can love span the decades?’, Jade overwhelmingly believes so. She said: I’m a romantic at heart and believe once you’ve met and connected with your soulmate nothing can break that bond – even if you remain apart from your loved one there will always be that connection. Something that even death cannot break.
So does love conquer all?
“Yes,” said Jade. “If we don’t have love and share that bond with another person what’s the point of life? I think we spend a lifetime trying to find a connection and once we truly find it there’s no letting go of it. After all, the heart wants what it wants.”
Did The Love Letter resonate with you? We’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions, why not contact us here or tweet us @FilmWithPride