English with English voice-over

Running time
90 minutes

Land of origin
The Netherlands

Script and Director
Ditteke Mensink

Gerard Nijssen
Ditteke Mensink

Film research
Gerard Nijssen

Jessica de Koning

Voice Grace
Poppy Elliot

Sound Design & Mix
Mark Glynne

Composer & Music Producer
Paul M. van Brugge

Script editor
Sandra Beerends

Postproduction Supervisor
Leon Paquay

Line producer
Sylvia Baan, Annemiek van der Hell, Rosan Boersma, Hetty Krapels

Associate producer
Matthijs Wouter Knol

Commissioning Editor
Annemiek van der Zanden (NPS), Christine Reisen (ARTE France)

Pieter van Huystee

This film is supported by
The Netherlands Film Fund, The CoBO Fund,
Dutch Cultural Broadcasting Fund, Thuiskopie Fund,
ARTE France, MEDIA, Discovery Campus

World premiere

November 22nd 2009, International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam


FAREWELL tells the story of Lady Grace Drummond-Hay, the only female passenger on the first journey around the world of the Graf Zeppelin in 1929. Grace writes about her adventures on the journey, not only in articles in the Hearst Newspapers, as a reporter, but also in her diary. Traveling high in the sky, up over a world, in a way she has never experienced before, Grace changes. Her former lover Karl von Wiegand is amongst the other passengers. During her long voyage their love is once again tested. When the Zeppelin finally flies over New York Grace says goodbye to Karl and the lovers lose touch. Landing in New York she is welcomed like a cinema star.

In 1929 people were convinced this journey would be a splendid turning point in history. A few weeks later Wall Street crashed and a dark period in history began.

Farewell is the travelogue and love story of the young aristocrat 'newspaper girl' Lady Grace Drummond-Hay and the much older Karl von Wiegand, both correspondents for the Hearst Press empire. They are both passengers aboard the LZ 127 'Graf Zeppelin', the first zeppelin in history to circumnavigate the globe in 1929.

The voyage took 21 days and started off in New York. Via Friedrichshafen in Germany, across Siberia to Tokyo, across the Pacific Ocean to Los Angeles, the airship finally arrived back in New York greeted by much cheering and a ticker tape parade. During the adventurous trip the printing presses were working overtime, as it was followed closely and covered extensively. The voyage was a symbol of both technological progress and the improved relationship between two great nations: the United States and Germany. The outside world is unaware of the passionate love affair between Grace, a young widow, and Karl, a married man.

They are not alone, though. A crew of forty keeps the zeppelin in the air, led by the erudite German captain Hugo Eckener. Others aboard include Sir Hubert Wilkins, a famous Australian arctic explorer, commander Fujiyoshi, an important Japanese marine officer and William Leeds, a 26-year old multimillionaire who recently and famously married a Russian grand duchess and brought a portable gramophone on board. They all live together for 21 days in a 80m2 gondola underneath the giant zeppelin. The voyage is not without its dangers.

High in the sky the lucky passengers feast their eyes on landscapes and panorama's never seen before, on sprawling metropolises like London, Friedrichshafen and Berlin, Tokyo, San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York. Vast and uninhabited landscapes come into view. White alpine peaks, oceans, the great swamps of Siberia.

Down on the ground the roaring twenties are still in full swing; there optimism and faith in progress reign supreme. Elsewhere, though, it's poverty and socialist revolutions. Fascist sentiments are slowly finding their breeding grounds, taking root in social structures, developing into nationalist and belligerent politics � particularly in the zeppelin's homeland, Germany.

In the course of the voyage the love between Grace and Karl is severely tested. The pressures of daily supplying copy to their chief editor Hearst keep growing as a media hype develops and they are confronted with the world below. Keeping their affair a secret in the small gondola becomes more and more exasperating and ultimately impossible. When Karls wife appears in a hotel in Los Angeles, their love is ruined, resulting in a painful and inevitable farewell. Flying in the Zeppelin the cheering crowds in the streets of New York the lovers lose touch.

Not much later the New York stock exchange crashes, causing many to lose their fortunes. This 'Black Tuesday' means another field day for the press and leads to the final episode in the love affair between Grace and Karl.

DIRECTOR Ditteke Mensink
Click here for the website of Ditteke Mensink
FILM RESEARCH Gerard Nijssen 
Click here to download the CV of Gerard Nijssen



Click here for poster

Click here for card

Click here for card2


Track 2 Farewell

Track 3 Farewell

Track4 Farewell


'Prachtige film, waarbij het premierepubliek de handen stuk klapte'

'a beautiful illustrated lovestory'
'een prachtig geïllustreerd liefdesverhaal'

'A truly remarkable film, which succeeded magnificently!'
'Een heel bijzondere film, bijzonder geslaagd ook!'

'One of the sensations of the IDFA this year'
'Eén van de sensaties van het IDFA dit jaar'

'A fairy-tale like experience'
'Een sprookjesachtige ervaring'

'Thrilling and touching'
'Spannend en ontroerend'

'A poetical ode to the passing age of the zeppelin'
'Een poëtische ode aan het voorbije tijdperk van de zeppelin'

'A piece of craftmanship, unrivaled'
'Een staaltje vakmanschap, ongekend!'

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Read the Variety review here

Click here for the review of Farewell as one of the Best Films of 2010