Private Project

The Girl Who Wore Freedom

THE GIRL WHO WORE FREEDOM brings us to Normandy, France. Once an idyllic landscape, Normandy had succumbed to German invaders who overran its farms, its manors, its countryside.

Here we meet Dany Patrix, Maurice Lecoueur, Henri-Jean Renaud, and others, who recount their unique relationships with the Allied forces who liberated Normandy on June 6, 1944. The journey from occupation to liberation, to acceptance and forgiveness to gratitude and pride, is explored through interviews with French survivors and American veterans in this powerful, personal film that tells stories handed down over two generations.

We visit Brecourt Manor, the site of the battle between the men of Easy Company - known as the Band of Brothers - and a German battery. We hear from the children of D-Day, who were cared for by American soldiers after their families were killed in the onslaught. We explore the nature of war, of forgiveness, of gratitude through interviews with French survivors and American veterans.

We travel today’s United States with Flo Plana, who seeks out the men of the 101st Airborne Division to collect and curate their stories for the Utah Beach D-Day Museum. We meet veterans like Ceo Bauer, Brad Freeman, and Bob DeVinney, who recount their experiences and the relationships they built over the summer of 1944.

Normandy itself is now a living war museum, with shrapnel on the beaches, bullet holes in its walls, and blood staining its church pews. Those that were there have vowed never to forget the lessons of World War II and to pass down the value of freedom to their children and their children’s children.

The film closes on contemporary D-Day celebrations of remembrance and gratitude, where French citizens of all ages celebrate those who were and are willing to defend freedom because they, the people of Normandy, know all too well that freedom is not free.

  • Christian Taylor
  • Christian Taylor
  • Julie Danis
  • Bill Ebel
  • Christian Taylor
    What's in the Bible: Vol 9 God Speaks!
  • David Paterson
    Love, Ludlow, Bridge to Terabithia, The Great Gilly Hopkins, Don't Stop Believin': Everyman's Journey
  • Terry Jun
    Relatively Super, The Snore, UberEx, Bannana Season
  • Bill Ebel
    Fireproof, Couragous, Overcomer, The Slugs and Bugs Show
  • Christian Taylor
    Key Cast
    Losing Ground, Mags & Mel, The Letter, Ordinary World
  • Dany Boucherie
    Key Cast
  • Jean-Marie Boucherie
    Key Cast
  • Flo Plana
    Key Cast
  • Marie Pascale LeGrand
    Key Cast
  • Maurice LeCoeur
    Key Cast
  • Patrick Fissot
    Key Cast
  • Eric Belloc
    Key Cast
  • Henri-Jean Renaud
    Key Cast
  • Denise LeConte
    Key Cast
  • Jeff Kurtenacker
    Born Punk, Wildstar, For the Good of the People, Pirates of the Burning Sea
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Mixed, Participatory, Observatory, Interview, Dramatization
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 29 minutes 22 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    June 6, 2020
  • Production Budget:
    400,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    France, United States
  • Language:
    English, French
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Central States IndieFanFilmFest
    Rock Island, IL
    United States
    WINNER: Best Feature Documentary
  • International Sound & Film Music Festival
    WINNER: Best Original Score Documentary
  • Boston Film Festival
    United States
    September 24, 2020
    USA Premiere
    WINNER: Best Documentary, WINNER: Best Editing
  • Lady Filmmakers Festival
    Beverly Hills, CA
    United States
    September 25, 2020
    WINNER: Best Documentary Feature
  • Chagrin Documentary Festival
    Chagrin Falls, OH
    United States
    October 6, 2020
    World Premiere
    WINNER: Emerging Filmmaker Award, Best of the Fest Finalist
  • LA Femme International Film Festival
    Los Angeles, CA
    United States
    October 15, 2020
    Official Selection
  • Red Rock Film Festival
    Cedar City, UT
    United States
    November 4, 2020
    Western States Premiere
    WINNER: Audience Award - Documentary, Spirit of the Festival
  • Red Rose Film Festival
    Lancaster, PA
    United States
    November 6, 2020
    Official Selection
  • Big Apple Film Festival
    New York, New York
    United States
    November 13, 2020
    Official Selection
  • Mediterranean Film Festival Cannes
    Cannes, French Riviera
    November 27, 2020
    WINNER: Honorable Mention
  • Flathead Lake International Cinemafest
    Polson, Montana
    United States
    January 29, 2021
    WINNER: Best Feature Documentary, WINNER: Audience Award
  • Chandler International Film Festival
    Chandler, Arizona
    United States
    January 21, 2021
    WINNER: Best Woman Filmmaker
  • Scorpiusfest
    Park City, Utah
    United States
    February 1, 2021
    WINNER: Best Documentary Feature
  • Beaufort International Film Festival
    Beaufort, SC
    United States
    February 15, 2021
    South Carolina
    WINNER: Audience Choice, WINNER: Duty and Honor
  • Lake Michigan Film Festival
    East Lansing, MI
    United States
    February 18, 2021
    Michigan Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Omaha International Film Festival
    Omaha, Nebraska
    United States
    March 12, 2021
    Nebraska Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Thin Line Film Fest
    Denton, Texas
    United States
    March 24, 2021
    Texas Premiere
    Offical Selection
  • Port Townsend Woman & Film Film Festival
    Port Townsend, WA
    United States
    April 2, 2021
    Washington Premier
    WINNER: Audience Award
  • Julien Dubuque International Film Festival
    Dubuque, Iowa
    United States
    April 16, 2021
    Iowa Premiere
    Best Documentary
  • GI Film Festival
    San Diego, CA
    United States
    May 18, 2021
    West Coast Premiere
    WINNER: Best Documentary, Best First-Time Filmmaker
  • NICE International Film Festival
    May 24, 2021
    European Premiere/France Premiere
    WINNER: Best Documentary
  • Red Movie Awards
    March 24, 2021
    WINNER: Best Director, Best Editor, Best First-Time Filmmaker
  • Reedy Reels Film Festival
    Greenville, SC
    United States
    WINNER: Best Veteran Film
Distribution Information
  • Factory Film Studio
    Country: United States
    Rights: Internet, Video on Demand, Pay Per View, Hotel, Airline, Ship, Video / Disc, Free TV, Paid TV, Console / Handheld Device
Director Biography - Christian Taylor

Director, Writer, Executive Producer - Christian Taylor’s 35-year entertainment industry career spans stage, screen, and sound booth, as she has been talent, producer, director, casting director, and coach. Christian began her career in the entertainment industry interviewing senators on Capitol Hill with the TV/Radio department of the Senate. She received her BA in Theater and Broadcasting from The Catholic University while working in radio and TV on Capitol Hill. The Girl Who Wore Freedom is her directorial debut.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

Countless documentaries have been produced about the invasion of Normandy; most focus on US and German troop movements. Very few, if any, focus on the experiences of the French citizens of Normandy. What did they and their families experience during the four years of Nazi occupation? What are their memories of the summer of 1944?

Three years ago, I knew little about France, and had only a cursory understanding of what happened on D-Day. That all changed in June, 2015.

I had followed my son and his unit, the 101st Airborne Division, to the annual D-Day celebrations in France. During my first moments in Normandy, I felt like I’d been spit out of a time machine. I was surrounded by Willy’s Jeeps, GIs, and American flags. Songs like Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy were playing in the background. It was the most patriotic event I have ever seen. I was surrounded by World War II veterans who had been a part of the invasion, current American soldiers, and by thousands of French citizens – many dressed as 1944 American soldiers or civilians. We were all there, together, watching as modern-day American paratroopers recreated an event from 71 years earlier. It was surreal and incredibly powerful.

I stood there, deeply moved. My son was approached by a French woman who asked for a picture. Delighted and proud, I introduced myself as his mother and offered to take the picture.

This natural, instinctive decision would change my life.

I soon learned that I was standing face to face with history itself – Dany Patrix Boucherie, “The Girl Who Wore Freedom.” Dany, her husband Jean-Marie, and her daughter Flo, became our guides in Normandy. They embodied the spirit of love and gratitude I felt from the French throughout my time there.

It was this powerful hospitality and love the French people showed Americans that captivated me. It was overwhelming. I found myself wondering... why? Where did it come from? How did it start? There is a stereotype that the French hate Americans. However, everything I was experiencing completely contradicted this.

One particularly powerful image stayed with me after I returned home from Normandy. World War II veterans walked around each day with big red kisses on their foreheads and faces, kisses that were given to them by grateful French women of all ages. Each veteran wore the lipstick kisses proudly as a badge of honor. As I was thinking about this one day, it hit was so clear.

This is a love story.

It has been estimated that over two thousand Americans died during the invasion to free France from Nazi occupation. The people of Normandy helped to bury hundreds of these young men - young men who had died to free them.

Then the U.S. soldiers entered the city. They gave the citizens of Normandy simple gifts: whatever they had with them gum, chocolate, life-savers candies, jackets, and spent parachutes. They introduced them to pineapples and corn. They even gave them rides in their Jeeps.

It was these acts of sacrifice and kindness that moved the French to fall in love, a passionate love. This is the overflowing love, gratitude and joy that can still be witnessed today.

THE GIRL WHO WORE FREEDOM reminds viewers of who we are as Americans when we are at our very best. When we are standing up for those who are poor, oppressed, especially those whose freedoms and liberties have been stolen. It will be a reminder that individual and national acts of bravery, care and compassion have the power to impact others for generations.