A few years ago, the French photographer Sacha Goldberger faced a distressing problem. His 91-year-old Hungarian-born grandmother, Frederika, felt lonely and depressed.
His innovative solution was to turn “Mamika” into a larger-than-life superhero and photograph her. According to a post in My Modern Metropolis, “Grandma reluctantly agreed, but once they got rolling, she couldn’t stop smiling.”
The story went viral, even leading to talk of a movie deal. It’s easy to see why. Goldberger’s pictures convey the warmth and sense of wonder that made many of us love the superhero genre in the first place.
Additionally, the images are a reminder that for such a seemingly superficial thing, unique personal aesthetics can have a lot of power. It does everyone good to be a character, if just for a little while.
Of course, there’s also this:
Frederika was born in Budapest 20 years before World War II. During the war, at the peril of her own life, she courageously saved the lives of ten people. When asked how, Goldberger told us “she hid the Jewish people she knew, moving them around to different places every day.” As a survivor of Nazism and Communism, she then immigrated away from Hungary to France, forced by the Communist regime to leave her homeland illegally or face death.
Costume or no, heroes are in the most unexpected places. More photos, below the cut.