Anne Spoerry is a legendary flying doctor and treasured as a national heroine in Kenya, where she spent decades treating people who lived in remote areas. Flying her own plane and declining a salary, she was personally responsible for eliminating polio from nearly 100 miles of the Kenyan coast. On her death, at one of four memorial services held for her, the French Ambassador spoke of a woman who had been ‘an honour to France.’
But Anne always refused to talk about her past. When John Heminway first mentioned World War II to her in an interview, she threatened to throw him out of the house. Over the years, they became good friends, but there was always an understanding that her experience of Nazi internment was out of bounds. After she died, he decided to find out what he could, and to prove categorically that Anne Spoerry was a model human being. But the more questions he asked, the more it seemed that Anne had something to hide.
In a combination of intimate memoir and reportage, FLIGHT is about a quest to understand a dear friend, and ultimately about whether it is possible to redeem one’s past.
John Heminway is a writer and documentary filmmaker. He has published three books about his travels in Africa, and has been making films since 1968, winning numerous industry awards. Currently writing a biography of Anne Spoerry, he shares with her a love of Africa and a passion for flying.