This is the true story of Joe Kaswan, an unsung war hero I met just a couple of years before he died, while he was staying at a friend’s apartment in uptown Manhattan.
The story fascinated me and his way of telling it was very special.
Joe always spoke at an extremely slow pace; he would try to explain the smallest details about everything.
Perhaps because he survived a 17000 feet free fall at “terminal speed”, as he bailed out from a doomed plane over the German sky, he felt the need to “slow down” for the rest of his life. So, I thought we also needed to force ourselves to slow down, to hear his recollections.
I wanted to document his story and I decided to film Joe in slow motion, at the fastest speed my Super 8 camera was capable of.
A few months after I made this film, Joe died alone, at the Veterans Hospital in the Bronx where I had been visiting him. I arranged for an impromptu screening of this short film at the funeral home where I paid my respect along with a small group of WW2 veterans who knew him.