`People would never think I'm 88.' Sure enough Leo Schatz, Jewish painter and former resistance fighter, looks years younger. While working on his colourful paintings, the self-appointed melancholy optimist elucidates his philosophies. In this striking portrait, we also follow him to Italy, which he revisits after years of absence. By himself, for his wife Sonja is no longer with us. Shortly after the war, he met Sonja, the love of his life. Irma, their daughter, died as a young adult after a protracted illness. Schatz represented her many times in his work.
He survived many loved ones during the war. He is still reluctant to bring back those memories. `I don't believe grief makes people more mature.' Schatz is considered a cheerful, sociable guy by his environment, but in reality he is not. `I'm not happy to get up. What should I do with another day?' But when he is in his beloved studio again, he is glad he put his mind to it. `Some sort of power emerged that I hadn't suspected in me.'