Adrianne Finelli
Helga »

Helga, single-channel video, 11 minutes, 2005


Helga is an experimental documentary that tells the dramatic story of how a young woman living in post WWII Germany came to live in the Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. 


I met Helga in 1995 when she started cutting my hair—she owned and operated a popular salon and gallery on the Westside of Bethlehem.  Helga continued to cut my hair throughout my college years and even while she was living outside of the states, on visits she would cut my hair in my mother’s kitchen.  For many years she acted as an informal therapist to me. 


Over the years Helga shared some of her own stories with me, and asked her if she would work on a project together.  Helga wanted to share her story with others as an anti-war message.  Helga’s two daughters learned more of their mother’s hardships through this project, and were grateful to have this history revealed to them. 


Helga has been screened at festivals nationwide and has received the awards Best Documentary at the Diamond Screen Film Festival and Best College Film at the Bucks County Film Festival.  This piece has also been used in social work and literature courses centered on grief and loss.


Helga moved back to Bethlehem where she lives with her husband and three dogs.  She is also a proud grandmother.