Liberty: Mother of Exiles (2019) Movie Script

Woman (as Emma Lazarus):
Not like the brazen
giant of Greek fame,
with conquering limbs astride
from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed,
sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch,
whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning,
and her name
Mother of Exiles.
-(thunder cracks)
-From her beacon-hand
Glows worldwide welcome...
"Keep, ancient lands,
your storied pomp!"
cries she with silent lips.
(crowd cheering)
"Give me your tired,
your poor,
"Your huddled masses
yearning to breathe free..."
Right here, right now!
Woman (as Emma Lazarus):
"The wretched refuse
of your teeming shores.
"Send these,
the tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp
beside the golden door!"
(helicopter whirring)
Welcome to the groundbreaking
for the Statue of Liberty
(crowd cheering)
Stephen Briganti:
The new building
will make it possible
for each visitor to view
the statue's treasures.
In order to build
a $70 million museum,
we have to have
a dynamic campaign leader.
Diane von Frstenberg:
To liberty!
(crowd cheers, whistles)
Von Furstenberg:
I love-- how do you say...
(indistinct) Magdalena.
Godmother, yes!
-The godmother.
-You understand.
-Is that the word?
-Madrina. Madrina.
And now,
it's my great honor
to introduce the godmother
of the Statue of Liberty,
Diane von Furstenberg.
Von Furstenberg:
The thing is, I'm not
really good at fundraising.
As a matter of fact,
I usually sign a check
and get it over with.
-(audience laughs)
-But this time, however,
I had to raise the funds,
because what she represents
out there
is everything that
has to be protected.
Lady Liberty is like
a logo for freedom,
but she has a face
and she has a story,
and the story behind her is
this fight for freedom.
-(echoing): Freedom. Freedom.
-Man: Let's go! Step up!
Freedom. Freedom.
(passengers chattering)
Woman (over PA): On behalf
of the National Park Service,
welcome aboard.
Oh, cool!
Our high school,
Ellis Prep, serves
students who just
got to the country.
This is really the only school
they can go to that helps
get a high school education
in New York.
They often know
no words in English.
(man shouts in foreign language)
Woman (over PA):
We're now on our way
to the Statue of Liberty
at Liberty Island.
Boy: My name is Joseph Sandani.
I'm from Yemen.
I just come from Yemen because
we have-- we always have a war.
My name is Rajoul Rasby,
and I'm from Bangladesh.
-Let's go look at it.
-Rasby: In my school,
we say like,
"Today's immigrant,
tomorrow's future."
That's quote we say
in our school.
Come on, Neemah!
I come from Africa,
West Africa in Togo.
I came from Barkina Faso,
West Africa.
(boy 2 speaking Spanish)
Woman (over PA):
This view is similar to the one
seen by many thousands
of immigrants
as they entered
the US by steamship.
(excited chattering, cheering)
Shouts and cries of joy
would erupt from
the steamer decks.
Gone are the giant steamships,
but some things
remain the same.
America is still
a nation of immigrants,
and New York City remains
a gateway for many.
My name is Peter Wong.
I was born and raised
on the Lower East Side
of Manhattan.
Seventy-five percent
of New York City today are
either first- or second-
generation immigrants.
My mom immigrated
from Hong Kong with
a suitcase filled with clothing,
an iron, and a rice cooker.
And one of the first things
that she wanted to do
was come
to the Statue of Liberty.
Welcome to Liberty Island.
My name is Reneel Langdon,
one of the park rangers here.
I was born on a tiny
Caribbean island,
by the name of Grenada.
I came to the United States
when I was 17 years old.
So, behind me, we have
the Statue of Liberty.
Her real name,
the name given to her
by the person
who created her,
is "Liberty Enlightening
the World."
They had the idea
to build her in 1865,
and she was standing
here in 1886.
Twenty-one years.
Twenty-one years is what it took
to build the Statue of Liberty.
Who came up
with this idea? Someone
had to have had the idea!
His name was
douard de Laboulaye.
He was a French
political thinker.
He rallied and fought
against slavery.
But in France, Mr. Laboulaye
does not have the freedom
and the liberty
that he wants to celebrate
in the United States.
My name is Agathe de Laboulaye
and douard de Laboulaye
was my great-great-
That's maybe one
great too much.
-One great too much!
From the very start,
the idea was
that the statue
would be a present
from the French people
to the American people,
to symbolize the importance
of democracy.
No one thought
America would work out.
-No one thought
America would last.
-Girl: Hmm.
Because Americans
were experimenting
with a very crazy idea,
which no one else in the world
had really much success with
at that time!
-A democracy?
It was a crazy idea because
in the rest of the world,
there were kings, and queens,
and royal families.
So, the United States
is embarking on this
new system of government
of the people, for the people,
by the people.
And in 1865,
the Civil War ended
in the United States,
and now you have slaves
that were set free.
-(gunshot echoes)
-Stanislas: Just
a few days after
Lincoln's assassination,
Laboulaye organized this dinner
where the young sculptor,
Bartholdi, was invited.
Young Bartholdi
was kind of shy,
but the idea of building
a huge statue was put forward.
Langdon: Now, what
you can't see from here
is what's at her feet.
-Rasby: I saw a picture.
-You saw a picture! What
did you see on that picture?
-There is a broken chain.
-Broken chains and shackles.
-What does it look
like she's doing?
-Girl: Walking.
Langdon: She's walking
forward, exactly!
Freedom does not sit.
And she's about to step
out of her chains and shackles,
with her torch,
seven days of the week,
to the seven seas,
and as citizens of a democracy,
we too are able to move
freedom forward.
Forward. Forward. Forward...
(man speaking French)
I think it's here.
Oh. Liberty is
always a conquest.
It's there.
It's not done.
We have lost the statue.
The Statue of Liberty is very
well-known through the world,
and why Bartholdi
is quite unknown?
You know, it is this distortion
that interests me.
What's going on?
Oh, here.
Here. Here it is.
All his life
was dedicated
to his art,
but also dedicated
to a certain idea of mankind.
Of the ideal of humanity,
you know? Fraternity,
between the nations.
(Belot speaking French)
(camera clicks)
Von Furstenberg:
I first came to this
country in 1970.
I was pregnant
and I had lots of ideas
about building a business,
and I decided to come by boat
because I thought
if I came by boat,
it would go slowly,
and therefore,
I would have time to incubate
and to think about the future.
I remember arriving
here in the morning
and seeing her, Lady Liberty,
thinking, she's wearing a toga.
It's feminine, and yet
her posture is so strong.
Welcome back.
It was a little warmer
last time we were out.
This is the first day of steel,
so we're erecting steel.
Von Furstenberg:
It's always nice to see
when things erect, no?
So, here you are!
You'll be going up.
This is it.
Nicholas Garrison:
The museum project was
the brainchild of the
superintendent on the island
who got constant complaints
about people coming to the
island and being disappointed
that they couldn't go
into the monument itself.
What we wanted to do
was to create a museum
that would actually bring
the story of the statue
to life.
There's no greater symbol
of liberty than the torch,
and it was something
that we designed
the building around,
so the original torch
will always be on display.
The torch is the literal light
of the statue that was called
Liberty Enlightening the World.
This is one of my favorite
moments in the whole building.
When you get to walk
around the torch
and feel just how huge it is.
There's nothing else here.
It's just you
and the torch and statue
and the city and the harbor.
You're right at the entrance
to the museum right now.
These are the revolving doors.
Von Furstenberg: I never
thought I would have a
personal relationship with her.
But it doesn't matter
how many times you see her...
Wow!'s always special.
She always captures something.
(metal clangs)
-Man: I'm from Staten Island.
-Von Furstenberg: Oh, you are?
So, you see her
all the time.
And I tell people
that the best ride in New York
-is the Staten Island Ferry.
-I know, I know.
-She's nice, huh?
We forget about her.
-Man: Yeah. Oh.
(ship's horn bellowing)
Von Furstenberg:
Oh, we missed the boat!
Should we go inside
to keep warm?
Man: Hi. I'm Brad Hill.
I'm president of the gift shop
here at the Statue of Liberty.
This is my 37th year here.
My grandfather started
the business back in 1931
with my grandmother, Evelyn,
who the company is named after.
(projector clicks)
My grandmother fled Poland.
It was a Jewish family
and they were hiding
from the Nazis.
And my father was born
here on Liberty Island.
I worked here as a kid
during the summers,
so it's just in my blood.
My grandmother, Evelyn,
worked the cash register
until a week before
she passed away
at 88 years old.
The Statue of
Liberty replicas are our
number-one-selling item.
This would be our most
popular size (laughs)
...because of price.
Von Furstenberg:
Can I buy one of those?
But I don't have any money.
Neither do I.
Where's Rick?
We take his credit card,
but you're fine.
Okay, Rich,
you pay for me.
All these statues are actually
made only a few miles
from us in Brooklyn.
-Oh, nice!
And they're made
especially for us.
I'm from Mexico.
I am from Albania.
I came from Romania.
One of my dream was to come
to United States to see
the Statue of Liberty.
The same thing, my wife.
Everybody in Romania
had obsession with
the Statue of Liberty.
Nobody said,
"I wanna go to Chicago,
I wanna go to Hollywood."
Nobody. Just, "I wanna
go to Statue of Liberty."
And we start from nothing,
and my lady said...
"What about to make a replica
and from the selling,
to donate a portion
to the Statue of Liberty?"
And this the way start.
-Yes, among other ideas.
I have this idea, too.
Is not only idea,
but it was a good idea.
The people working for us,
most of them are immigrants.
We are happy to provide
jobs for those people
who came in this country.
They have money
to support their family,
their kids to send to school,
and the people are satisfied.
Many go through hardship
to be able to be free.
(chain rattling)
My father told me
what is the Statue of Liberty,
how it was made,
who made it,
what it represent.
That make my mind to work,
and I said,
I want to go to see it.
I tried to leave the country
without the permission,
and, um...
they catch me
on the border,
put me in jail,
spend five year in jail.
Because you wanna be free.
The communist regime,
they don't allow people
to go out of the country
if they don't have a permission.
Working 12 hours a day,
I spent five years in jail,
and my dream was still there.
And here I am.
The only company
in USA who make
the Statue of Liberty.
"I wanna be free."
That represent for me freedom.
Von Furstenberg: People project
their dream on Lady Liberty.
Everyone imagines
their own fantasy
and project their own fantasy,
and so do artists.
Whether she's on a stamp
or she's in a painting,
she belongs to everyone.
-How much you sell this?
-This is 500.
-I'm gonna buy it.
-Oh, wow. Okay, that's nice.
I just painted it, just now.
-You did? Okay.
-Ouch: My name is Denis Ouch.
I am an artist from Russia.
(Ouch speaking English)
I did street art in Russia,
but it was more like
a hobby thing, something
that I want to do for fun.
And here,
I can do it professionally.
For you, you're Russian,
what does she represent?
-Ouch: The Statue of Liberty?
Well, at first, it was
a big symbol of freedom,
and then I realized
that, you know,
freedom is not that free.
(police radio chatters)
I was selling on the street.
Officers will be
cracking down
on folks who are selling
on street corners.
Artists are pushing back,
claiming it's free speech.
And I went to court,
and I defended myself.
I got it dismissed.
But then the same police
arrested me again.
So, after that, I thought
I have to make a Statue
of Liberty in barbed wires.
This one is like a crime scene.
Police now doing
the crime things.
They are supposed to protect
people from doing crimes,
but it's the opposite.
Naked one is
she's like a prostitute.
So, if you have money,
she'll be yours.
If you have money,
you got the freedom.
If you don't have the money,
you ain't got it.
Von Furstenberg:
I actually wanted
you to do something.
-I made these In Charge bags,
and I was wondering
whether you...
I can ask you to do
a Statue of Liberty on them.
-Yeah, I can. Okay.
-Would you do that?
I want one that is
happy and in charge.
-Ouch: Oh yes, so
you want naked one.
-I want it in charge.
-Okay? Okay.
-Ouch: All right.
-Let's take
a selfie together!
Ouch: No matter
from where you are,
Statue of Liberty is
almost like a brand.
It is like a pop of Coke for
our innate desire to be free.
-Ouch: Ciao.
Thank you very much.
- Do svidaniya.
Do svidaniya.
Von Furstenberg:
So, we're going
to the public library
to look at the diary
of Bartholdi.
I'm very excited
because, you know,
I never really thought
about her very much.
I mean, growing up in Belgium,
and my father going
to America the first time,
I saw the pictures.
You know, she was America.
And then she became
a part of my life.
And in a strange way,
it's almost like
the end of a circle
because my mother was
a prisoner of war.
She went to Auschwitz
and she worked in a labor camp.
She was a prisoner
in the worst way,
and she survived.
She returned to Belgium,
she got married,
she wasn't supposed to have
a child, but yet I was born.
And she always used to say,
"God saved me so that
"I can give you life.
"And by giving you life,
"you gave me my life back.
"You are my torch of freedom.
Mon flambeau de libert."
And now, here I am, you know,
at the winter of my life,
and I've become the godmother
of the Statue of Liberty.
And so, my mother gave me
this torch of freedom,
and I'm helping...
Lady Liberty to carry
her torch of freedom.
Oh my God,
it's so tiny!
This is--
Wait, wait, wait.
It's so tiny!
People had such
a small life then.
Well, it's a travel diary,
so it had to fit
-in the pocket.
-Von Furstenberg:
I know, but still...
"Am rique..."
(reading in French)
"America 1871."
It's pretty amazing
to see this tiny
little handwriting
in this tiny little diary.
Oh, the drawings!
Oh, the drawings are wonderful.
(reading in French)
"I'm leaving for Paris.
Mommy very courageous.
It's hard for me to leave her."
"Friday the 13th,
beautiful weather,
beautiful but fog."
Okay. Uh,
four in the morning.
They enter in the bay...
Man (as Bartholdi):
At the view of
the harbor of New York,
the definite plan was
first clear to my eyes.
I stay on the upper deck
in order to study the bay.
The little island seems
to be the best site.
June 30th.
Bought some paper,
made a sketch of Bedloe Island.
The site is superb!
The place is decidedly
what I think is needed,
but how much pain
and exasperation
must be endured?
(whistle toots, chugging)
Von Furstenberg:
"We are going to
"the President Grant,
-a very nice welcome."
It's a good thing
I speak French.
"To show the project.
He finds it nice..."
Man (as Bartholdi):
Thinks that securing the site
will not be
a difficult problem.
He offers me a cigar.
I stay for a while,
talking to him.
Von Furstenberg:
"He's quite nice,
"although he is cold,
like all Americans."
So funny.
Man (as Bartholdi):
The second part of my mission
remained to be accomplished:
to learn if the dream
could become a reality.
October 7th.
Farewell view of the bay
and Bedloe's Island.
I have the same
conviction about it
as I had when I first arrived.
(Belot speaking French)
-(train horn blows)
-(crossing bell clanging)
(man speaking French)
(man 2 speaking French)
(clock ticking)
(church bell clanging)
(man 3 speaking French)
(distant bells clanging)
(woman speaking French)
(speaking French)
(both speaking French)
Voil , okay.
("Clair de Lune" playing)
("Clair de Lune" continuing)
Man (as Bartholdi):
When I was 20 years old,
I traveled in Egypt,
and this country had a very
considerable effect upon
my taste for sculpture.
(Brutigam speaking French)
Von Furstenberg:
Oh, this is
Bartholdi as an Arab.
Man (as Bartholdi):
These colossal witnesses,
these granite beings
in their imperturbable majesty
seem still to be
listening to antiquity.
Their gaze seems
to ignore the present
and be fixed upon
an infinite future.
(speaking French)
"The Statue of Liberty
"was originally
a Muslim woman."
What religion is
most common in Egypt?
(students murmuring)
Teacher: Yeah. Islam.
Muslim. Mm-hmm.
But imagine the symbolism
today of having
a Muslim woman
or a Muslim statue
that can represent the US
and welcome people.
-Teacher: How.
Good question.
(Brutigam speaking French)
(Belot speaking French)
(Brutigam speaking French)
(speaking French)
The most important room
with the very first, um...
(Von Furstenberg
speaking French)
(Brutigam speaking French)
Von Furstenberg: Ah!
(speaking French)
(indistinct chattering)
(Von Furstenberg speaking)
(mayor chuckles)
(train horn blowing)
Von Furstenberg:
The Statue of Liberty
has always been
a story of the people,
and it's always been,
strangely enough,
a fundraising story.
I mean, here we are, Bartholdi,
who wants to build
the biggest statue
in the world,
but he has to raise
the money.
(chattering in French)
-Von Furstenberg: This
is an incredible museum!
-Yves Winkin: Yeah.
It's immense!
We celebrate machines.
We have 80,000 objects.
The statue, it's
an engineering feat,
but Bartholdi...
was in lack of money.
So, he needed to...
popularize the very
idea of the statue.
And we have two pieces
which Bartholdi
used to seduce
potential donors.
His producing workshop
was open to the public.
The public could give
some little money,
and he had to 3D maquettes
built in order to explain
to visitors
how the statue was produced.
I see, so it was
a fundraising effort?
Yeah. What is amazing
about Bartholdi,
he was a genius
at fundraising.
Well, he was a genius
at selling himself.
-Exactly. Yeah.
-Selling and selling.
It's incredible.
And so, everything is in scale?
In scale, yeah.
(camera clicks)
Winkin: Also,
he had like a diorama.
You see there
as if you were in
the harbor of New York.
You are aboard a ship,
and you get the view
you will get
approaching the statue.
This is incredible.
-(ship horn bellowing)
-(seagulls screeching)
(Belot speaking French)
He would be a PR person,
you know, hosting VIPs.
They sold small
model statues
that were done in the workshop
where the statue
was being built.
(Belot speaking French)
So bold and so daring.
And ambitious!
By 1880,
the Franco-American Union
had raised 400,000 francs,
which was a huge amount
of money at that time.
The truth is
that they raised
the money from the people.
And then they
started to build it.
But he doesn't even know
how the statue will hold.
It's gonna be so big.
How is it gonna hold
against the wind?
And that's when they met
Gustave Eiffel.
Bartholdi goes to Eiffel,
who is, at the time,
famous for creating
these amazing bridges
in various parts of the world,
and he said would you
be willing to create
the skeleton to the statue?
And Eiffel said
he'd take it on,
but he was not very
interested in having
his beautiful armature
disguised by this,
what he considered,
old-fashioned cladding.
-Man: Two, three!
-Women: Woo!
I mean, it must be
a very nice thing
to be a descendant
of Gustave Eiffel.
Yes. For him,
the big thing was the family.
It was very important for him,
and it's why I come
with this book,
written by Eiffel three months
before he died.
Von Furstenberg:
Oh, for his family! (gasps)
(Virginie speaking French)
-(camera clicks)
-Woman: Nice.
You know, you can see
the very short paragraph
on the Statue of Liberty.
Man (Gustave Eiffel):
The studies that I had done
on the resistance of the wind
made my be chosen to do
the armature of the Statue
of Liberty of Bartholdi.
In spite of the economical
it managed to resist many,
many tempests and hurricanes.
-Von Furstenberg:
So, he defied the wind.
So, the idea of doing
the armature,
the skeleton,
of the Statue of Liberty
was probably not...
-his biggest pride.
-Virginie: Yes, but--
(woman speaks English)
Von Furstenberg:
I mean, it only got a little
paragraph in his book.
I think the Statue
of Liberty inspired
Gustave Eiffel for
the Eiffel Tower.
Von Furstenberg:
It's fascinating.
-Man (as Bartholdi):
This truss work serves
as a support for the copper
form of the statue.
The copper plates kept
in shape by iron bands
are supported by iron braces,
which are cramped
onto the central core.
Von Furstenberg:
Every piece, imagine,
every piece of the armature
weigh 20 pounds.
There are about 3,000 of them.
Each piece of armature
was handmade
in order to fit
that beautiful, long dress.
You see the fabric,
and they follow the movement
of the draping of the dress.
(camera clicks)
Man (as Bartholdi):
The statue is constructed
of copper sheets
two and a half millimeters
in thickness.
The whole work was
done by the celebrated house
of Gaget, Gauthier,
and Company of Paris.
When it was built around 1884,
Parisians could see the statue
coming out of
the roof of Paris.
You would see
the evolution of just
the buildings
and then the statue being,
you know, on top of
the building and being
very big, and it was
like a real person
being kind of born.
It was kind of
an entertainment.
Like, it's a sunny day,
you're with your family,
and you say,
"Well, va voir la libert."
"We're going to see Liberty."
Man (as Bartholdi):
The work on the statue was
constantly visited
by the public,
who showed their
lively interest in it.
It is estimated that about
300,000 persons
visited the workshop.
I write the stories
for a very famous
European character
called Lucky Luke.
The new one
I'm writing is a story
of the Statue of Liberty.
These are the pages
which are done already.
So, the title is
"A Cowboy in Paris,"
and we have this,
our hero, and you can see
the statue being built
in the Atelier Gaget .
In America, they always
destroy it, you know?
In catastrophe movies,
they like to destroy things.
They don't really
like to emphasize
the building of things.
So this is quite sad because...
It's very heroical,
there are so many drama in it,
and actually, there is
some sex and passion
as well.
("Clair de lune" playing)
There's a big discussion about
who is represented
by the face of the statue,
and there are so many versions.
Some people say she's Arabic.
Some people say
she was Bartholdi's mother.
Some people said, oh,
it was Bartholdi's brother.
But many people say no,
it was the model Celine.
Atelier Gaget Gauthier was
not in the center of Paris.
The actual street where
the atelier was located was
a street with many prostitutes.
It was a kind of...
posh red light district.
So, Celine,
she was just posing,
you know, for the sculptors
and painters by the time,
and she was
a prostitute as well.
So, in between the mother
or the prostitute,
you know, you never know
who Liberty would be.
Man (as Bartholdi):
The people continue
to pour out and visit it,
until January 1, 1885.
At that time, the work
of taking it down was begun.
At the present hour,
the whole work
is packed up in cases,
which in a few days,
are to be put on board
the state vessel Isere.
When it went to America
in different pieces,
then it just
disappeared from Paris.
(thunder cracking)
(wind howling)
People were really like sad
because in the Atlantic,
Liberty got lost
in a storm for ten days.
We heard no news.
And it was like
Liberty was gone.
(wind howling)
I wanted to do
something familiar,
a little bit unfamiliar.
Something everybody
had an image of.
My father decided to escape
Vietnam in '79.
The refugees, known
as the boat people.
In our case,
it was a Danish tanker
that decided to take us up,
and we ended up in Denmark.
It was exhibited in Chicago,
China, Mexico, Denmark, London.
When I stumbled into
the information that you
work with copper that's
two millimeters thick,
like the size of two pennies,
and I thought...
(Vo speaking)
David Copperfield:
The Statue of Liberty is an
object that's actually hollow.
But on the outside,
it's supposed to look
very heavy and strong.
That in itself is an illusion.
It is magic.
It is science and art
making spectacle.
I had this idea of making
the Statue of Liberty disappear.
Male Announcer:
This is the Statue of Liberty.
the illusion of the century.
(fanfare playing)
I think people
thought I was crazy.
(radio beeping)
The audience on Liberty Island,
and myself, are seated here.
The curtain will be raised
between the statue
and the audience.
Getting to do it was
almost impossible.
I got a no. Basically, no,
from the Park Service.
So, I was friendly
with the Reagan family,
and I said that I really wanna
share how important freedom is.
I can do this as a...
a kind of a goofy thing.
I'm gonna do this as
a very serious thing
to point out what
we take for granted.
And he said yes. You know,
"I'll help you with this thing."
-(crowd cheering)
-Female Announcer:
Ladies and gentlemen,
Mr. David Copperfield.
My mother was
the first one to tell me
about the Statue of Liberty.
She saw it first
from the deck of a ship
that brought her to America.
She was an immigrant.
She impressed upon me
how precious our liberty is
and how easily it can be lost.
And then one day,
it occurred to me
that I could show with magic
how we take our
freedom for granted.
Sometimes, we don't realize
how important something is
until it's gone.
(crowd gasping, applauding)
As a magician,
I make people dream.
Statue, same thing:
It makes people dream.
It makes people understand that
they should keep moving forward
because who knows what
the future might bring.
(seagulls screeching)
Doug Phelps:
All the tradesmen and us,
we feel like we're
the keeper of the Lady.
We're the ones out here
that are improving her
and making sure she's here
for many generations to come,
and it's an honor
to have that job.
Out here, we have
a lot of migrating birds,
so it's noticed on the window.
It looks like small lines
going down.
That's for bird protection.
It's very specialized glass.
It was made in Portugal.
The torch will sit over here,
and that's where we're
leaving these windows out
to bring the original
torch into the space.
My mother's family
came from Germany
and immigrated into
the country in the late 1800s.
But we all have
an immigration story.
Everybody here has
an immigration story.
-How are you?
-How you doing?
-All right. It's a little
cool out there now.
This is the first piece
of America
that my grandparents saw.
There's like
five generations
of masons in my family,
going back to Italy
and coming to here.
My father's mom came here
when she was just a baby,
so this was the first thing
they saw when they came in.
We built the pier out here
in order to get the barges in.
Von Furstenberg:
It's one thing
to build a museum,
but to build a museum there
is so complicated that,
in a weird way, it was like
rebuilding the statue
all over again,
and you understand
the difficulty
of doing that on that tiny,
tiny, tiny little island.
-Jimmy: We had 19 concrete
trucks on one barge.
-Man: And a pump.
We poured almost
400 yards that day--
-Man: Right.
-Jimmy: Which is
40 concrete trucks.
Building the building,
we could do that in our sleep.
There's a lot of history
on that girl, and, uh...
I remember standing
in her torch.
She's standing tall.
She's been out there
in 150-mile-an-hour winds.
She don't care.
I mean, she's a tough lady.
-Man: Yeah, has strong
feeling about it.
-Jimmy: And we love her.
When the statue
arrived in America,
there wasn't enough money
raised on the American side.
It was sitting there,
just waiting for a place
to stand.
(wood creaking)
(Belot speaking French)
Von Furstenberg:
So much dream...
has gone into that statue,
and it's been like that.
You know, people had the dream
and they go for the dream,
-and then the reality
follows, right?
-Stanislas: Yeah.
The city of New York was
going to lose the statue.
And then Pulitzer raised
the money for the pedestal.
On the American side,
it's an immigrant
to the United States.
He was from central Europe,
but he did it
because the statue
-had this symbol for him.
-Von Furstenberg: Of course.
He wrote this
article and said,
"People of America..."
Man (as Pulitzer):
We must raise the money.
The World is
the people's paper,
and now, it appeals
to the people
to come and raise the money.
It is not a gift from
the millionaires of France
to the millionaires
of America,
but a gift of
the whole people
of France
to the whole people of America.
People would send
small amounts of money
and it was crowdfunding
of the time.
My name is Slava Rubin,
and we're at Indiegogo.
We're the first
crowdfunding company.
I'm a big fan of
the Statue of Liberty.
I was actually
born in Belarus,
so I myself am an immigrant.
When we came out
with Indiegogo,
it was a fairly foreign
concept to most--
giving money for
a bigger idea to happen.
So, I would lean on
the Statue of Liberty's story
to say hey, okay,
let me explain it like this.
A hundred and thirty years ago,
Joseph Pulitzer had to use
his technology,
which was the newspaper,
and use his network.
And if it wasn't for the crowd
actually doing their part
with Joseph Pulitzer
through the newspaper,
there's a good chance
the Statue of Liberty
wouldn't be in America
or in New York, actually.
(Belot speaking French)
On the day that the statue
was inaugurated,
Bartholdi goes out one last time
on the boat at night
to see his statue.
And as he's getting
back, he said,
"She's going away from me.
She's going away from me!"
At this moment, it is
becoming everyone else's.
(crowd cheering)
Today, her torch holds out
its beacon of welcome and hope
to all who seek
shelter in America.
Newsman 2:
Homecoming doughboys
waved at the Statue of Liberty,
-she waved back.
-(crowd cheering)
Roosevelt: ...rededication
of the liberty and the peace
which this statue symbolizes.
Home sweet home
to 1,000 Americans
once again in
the land of liberty.
John F. Kennedy:
Ask not what your
country can do for you.
Ask what you can do
for your country.
Antiwar demonstrators
protest the Vietnam war.
Neil Armstrong:
That's one small
step for a man...
giant leap for mankind.
John Lennon got his green card.
Right on, brother.
(crowd cheering)
Louise Fletcher (as Statue
of Liberty): I have welcomed
people from all nations
and I gave them a dream
that shaped the courage
and destiny of three
generations of Americans.
But now, I need your help.
Time and the elements
are destroying me.
if you still believe in me,
save me, or soon,
I will become a symbol
of shame and decay.
Send your contribution
to Keep The Torch Lit.
Newsman: The Statue of Liberty
is undergoing a complete
that could be ready
by July 4th, her 100th
birthday celebration.
Tony Soraci:
That statue took a beating.
All those years,
see the little rust
here and here?
You can see the damage on it.
It was leaking,
the glass was shot.
It was just a mess.
If you were in
the middle of salt water
for a hundred years,
you'd need some work, too,
you know what I'm saying?
And they wanted
to take the old torch off
and put a new torch on.
That's what we did.
Well, they needed somebody
who wasn't afraid of heights,
and I'd been in
the construction
business all my life.
That was a lot of climbing.
A long climb,
especially in the morning.
Around 5:30 in the morning,
six o'clock when you're
half asleep,
you didn't get
your cup of coffee.
You're looking up
saying, "Oh God."
You really couldn't
wear a harness.
I was just sitting on the edge,
looking down at the people
I said, "Look how small
those people look down there.
It's like little ants."
There are two teams
working on the restoration:
the American craftsmen
and the French artisans.
The French responsibility is
rebuilding the torch and flame.
We are amazed of...
of what they have
done one century ago.
I was 31 years old back then.
We came to New York
like a platoon of Marines.
Ten passionate metalworkers,
six days a week,
working like monks.
The original Bartholdi
flame was solid.
It was hollow, but solid.
In 1918, it has been changed
by cutting into it
to create a lantern.
But all of that leaked
These are the...
drawings of what was left
of the original flame shapes.
So, we had to do
an exact replica
using the same techniques,
the same volume,
the same shapes,
same details.
The other side
of the shop was occupied
by the American workers.
They were cordial,
but at the same time,
a little bit sour, you know?
Not to have been
awarded the job.
Ronald Reagan:
My fellow Americans,
the ironworkers from
New York and New Jersey
were at first puzzled
and a bit put off to see
foreign workers arrive.
Jean Wiart, the leader
of the French workers
said his countrymen understood.
After all, he asked,
how would Frenchmen feel
if Americans showed up
to help restore
the Eiffel Tower?
Our local was the first
local to get jurisdiction
of one of the biggest
projects in history, right?
And Carmine Sedita is
the one who ran the local.
Big old Sicilian man.
Tall guy, goatee.
He'd just look down at you,
he'd scare you. You know,
you listened to him.
Everybody says, if it wasn't
for those Mafia guys, she
wouldn't be renovated. (laughs)
Before I went up there,
he told me keep a low profile.
You know,
keep everything quiet.
Keep a nice, low profile.
Well, I tried.
It didn't work out too well.
I didn't know that
picture was gonna happen.
Many of us have
seen the picture
of another worker
here, Tony Soraci,
the grandson of
immigrant Italians said,
it was something
he was proud to do.
"Something to tell
my grandchildren."
Soraci: I got a pullout page
in National Geographics,
look out.
You had a couple
photographers up there.
So I leaned over, gave
the Statue of Liberty a kiss,
he snapped a picture.
Next thing I know,
it was in
National Geographics Today,
the president's thanking
me on national TV.
I was like, whoa, my God,
how'd this happen?
Whoa, am I in trouble. (laughs)
Reagan: As they came
to know each other,
the Americans
were reminded
that Miss Liberty,
like the many millions
she's welcomed to these
shores, is of foreign birth.
My ancestors when
they first came in,
they seen
the Statue of Liberty.
And there's no way
in a million years
they could have had an idea
that their great grandson
would be working on it,
you know?
I'm sure they're up there
looking down at me now,
saying, "Good job. Good job.
You did good."
-(fireworks whistling)
-Reagan: That's my gal.
The truth is,
she's everybody's gal.
Man: I have a motion
on the floor to sing
happy birthday to Lady Liberty.
-What's her age?
-131 years old.
-She just had a face-lift.
-Man: Not a day over 30.
As soon as I walked into
the room of liberty collectors,
it was like, my people!
Hi, I'm James,
and I'm a liberty collector.
I feel like we're
at a different kind
of meeting with those words.
-Man: Welcome, James.
-Yeah, I'm kind of addicted.
This piece is over
131 years old itself.
This is the 12-inch
American Committee model
to raise funds
in order to erect her.
Very, very detailed piece,
and you can see her toes.
This is a 1968 Dare-devil
that features a photograph
of the Statue of Liberty.
She is a super heroine
in her own right.
I have a guest room that
is all Statue of Liberty.
Floor-to-ceiling art,
and the kitchier the better.
I really like the negative
ones as well because
you can't censor what's
going on, so any use
of her image, to me,
brings awareness to anything
that's going on in the world.
Well, good afternoon.
Happy birthday.
Glad to be part
of the party today.
The statue that I built for
the New York, New York, hotel
is a little over
a hundred feet tall,
so it's two-thirds the size of
the statue in New York City.
And to me, it's more than just
a facade in front of a hotel.
To me, it really took on
a personality
throughout the process.
My mother-in-law passed away
during the completion
of the statue,
and so the plaque dedicates
the entire statue to her
and that's what
I said on there.
-That this one's for you, Mom.
-Man: Thank you.
(audience applauds)
I'm Amanda Liberty.
I'm sorry, it makes me choke up.
I'm just so happy to be here.
You actually changed
your name, right?
I did!
I changed my name
to Liberty.
I have my name, you know,
so that she's always with me.
She's always a part of me.
She's part of who I am.
You know, we don't remember
what it used to be.
Liberty is fine.
-Liberty is your name.
-(Amanda chuckles)
-It was Whittaker before. Yeah.
-(audience laughs)
Some people will go like,
oh, you're in the wrong
country or whatever,
and I'm just saying
that liberty is everywhere.
She's all around the world.
She's an immigrant
to the United States anyway.
Hal Clancy:
About 4.5 million a year
come out to visit
the Statue of Liberty,
and it's almost like
they're on a pilgrimage.
This ferry is the Miss Liberty.
She probably has
carried more passengers
than any other
ferry in the world.
My dad was her first captain.
He had me steering the boat
when I was tall enough
to stand on a chair
and see out the window.
Clancy (over PA):
Ladies and gentlemen,
welcome aboard Miss Liberty.
I made the recordings,
oh, about 20 years ago,
and it's still my voice today.
My grandfather was
superintendent of the park.
I remember spending
a lot of time
at my grandparents'
house on Liberty Island.
I used to ride
my bike around at night,
climb the statue at night.
I even once changed
the light bulb
in the original torch.
The largest light bulb
I had ever seen.
(over PA):
All disembarking passengers,
would you move to the exit
gangway at the forward end...
Most don't know people
actually used to live here
on Liberty Island.
A large house for
the superintendent,
three smaller units
and two duplexes.
Some were park rangers,
it was quite a community on
the back of Liberty Island.
Jay Lippert:
I rolled out of the house
and I was at work.
But after the public left,
and it was all quiet,
you know, the girls
would bring their
baby strollers
and their dolls,
we'd bring balls.
It was like a big backyard.
The island was
the kids' playground,
and they would bike
around the flagpole,
and just have themselves
a grand old time.
Woman: Where the museum
is going now,
half of it was
a maintenance building
and half of it was our house.
And then,
your house was--
-Woman: Over there.
I was going to school.
-Going to school?
-That's first day of school.
-Woman: Oh, first day of school!
-Teddy bear picnic.
-Teddy bear picnic.
Yeah, birthday party.
Both of our birthdays
9/11, yeah.
So, we could share birthdays.
Look, I'm pushing you!
I'm pushing you away.
And I used to tell people
to get off my island.
Yeah, she would do that.
I'd say Marcy,
you can't say that.
Jay: I don't even think
we had a key to the front
door at the statue.
We'd go walk in there,
and, you know,
just hang out.
And there's Charlie,
the bomb-sniffing dog!
-We used to hide gunpowder
for her to find.
-That's right.
She was a golden retriever
and explosives detection dog.
The statue got struck
by lightning a lot.
(thunder cracks)
Yes, it does tend--
and it's pretty loud.
(thunder rumbling)
You know, that was kinda funny.
You know, she's a bomb dog,
but any loud noises
like thunder terrified her.
The last time I was here
was September 11, 2001.
We were here
to make sure nobody hurt
the Statue of Liberty.
And, uh...
I don't think anybody
that was on those boat crews
was ready for what we saw.
'Cause I know I wasn't.
Holy shi-- God!
It just, uh,
it just wasn't...
anything you could
possibly prepare for.
(radio chattering)
All the flags were
at half-staff...
except Liberty Island.
And, uh...
Frank put the garrison
flag up that day.
And left it up.
Got a call from the director
of the park service and said,
you need to lower
that flag to half-staff.
And Frank said, "If you wanna
lower that flag to half-staff,
"you get your ass up
here and do it yourself
'cause I ain't
fucking doing it."
I went back and went
through all our pictures.
The Twin Towers is
in every picture,
so that kinda brings
back a time, you know,
it was a carefree time.
So, it definitely,
it has an effect.
You know, death
definitely has an effect.
David Luchsinger:
My wife and I used to live here
post-9/11, so, um...
it was quite
a different experience
than the folks that
lived here years ago
in a community.
For us, it was all
about security.
It was all about safety, and
it was because of post-9/11.
When I first got here,
86% of people coming
to the Statue of Liberty just
got to walk around outside.
My idea was
let's have a museum
on the backside of the island,
and Hurricane Sandy
sort of sealed the deal.
Sandy is coming.
The question is
how will New York City
handle it?
Seeing Hurricane Sandy
coming up,
we kinda knew pretty well then
we were gonna get
flooded pretty bad.
winds, driving rain,
record-breaking high tides.
We were very worried. I mean,
she's only two pennies thick,
but she's built
to move in the wind.
(wind and water rumbling)
(distant ship horn bellows)
Coming back to
the island was...
a surreal experience.
As we were coming across and
could see all the devastation,
we still saw the Statue
of Liberty standing there,
proud and defiant as ever.
As we came around
the backside of the island,
we could see all the houses.
That little house on
the corner, that's mine.
How high was the water?
-It was probably about here.
-(cameras clicking)
It was catastrophic.
We lost just about everything.
This was my backyard.
This was my backyard.
Oh, this is unbelievable.
This is what I envisioned.
I can't believe this room.
I really cannot
believe this room.
Little emotional. (laughs)
People from all over
the world are coming here
and they wanna see her.
She means liberty to everybody.
Everybody. Everybody.
(speaking Chinese)
(woman speaking Chinese)
(speaking Chinese)
Protesters (chanting):
No hate, no fear,
refugees are welcome here.
The Statue of Liberty says
"Give me your tired,
your poor, your huddled masses
yearning to breathe free."
It doesn't say anything
about speaking English.
I don't want to get off
into a whole thing
about history here,
but the poem that you're
referring to was added later.
It's not actually part of
the original Statue of Liberty.
-The Statue of Liberty--
-Jim, let me ask you
a question--
-...of hope to the world--
-Jim, I'm saying that--
-I'm saying the notion--
-(Jim speaking indistinctly)
Let's talk about this.
The Emma Lazarus poem
was actually written
to help create
the Statue of Liberty
because they needed money
to help create the pedestal,
and so, she was asked
to contribute a poem
to a booklet that would
be sold to raise money,
and she wrote this poem that
was so beautiful, in fact,
it ran in the newspapers
and was very, very popular.
Protesters (chanting):
No hate, no fear, refugees...
Woman (as Emma Lazarus):
Not like the brazen
giant of Greek fame,
with conquering limbs
astride from land to land...
Here at our sea-washed
sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch...
And her name,
Mother of Exiles.
The chaos, confusion, and anger
growing in the wake of the
White House immigration ban...
In Boston, thousands
packing the streets...
(protesters chanting)
Officers in riot
gear in Portland.
In Seattle, police pepper
spraying an angry crowd.
Now, the world is
seeing the worst
refugee crisis
since World War II.
Travelers not allowed to board
flights bound for the US.
Woman (as Emma Lazarus):
From her beacon-hand
Glows worldwide welcome...
Syrian refugees
are on the march.
You know, I can
post to Facebook,
but what's something
else that I can do?
This is now a massive exodus
of around 7,000 people.
Newswoman 2:
Migrants from Central America
heading toward the US
with hopes of seeking asylum.
Woman (as Emma Lazarus):
Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses
yearning to breathe free...
The first time that I went
to the Statue of Liberty
to sort of scout it
out, to check out
what security looked like,
and how big the railing
is and stuff like that,
uh, I got emotional
because my grandparents
met in a refugee camp
during World War II,
and my mother was an immigrant
and came through
New York on boats,
and the idea that this was...
this was the same
experience they had
going past this island was...
um, you know...
I definitely lost sleep
over what would ha--
you know, all the ways
that it could go wrong.
There's only one way
for it to go right,
but a million things
that can go wrong.
On the morning of,
it was a lot like this.
Cooler sun today,
chance for a shower
after midnight.
Sun sets at 5:38 with
more clouds coming in...
There's only one way in and one
way out, which is a ferry.
Man (over PA):
Security is also
a concern for all.
Be sure to take all
of your belongings
with you when you disembark.
So, we-- Hold on a second.
I'm thinking about how
much I wanna get into here.
Uh, yeah, we...
you go through metal
detectors twice.
Once on the Manhattan side
in order to get on
the ferry that takes you
to the island, and once...
in order to go before
you go up, you have
to leave your bag...
down at the base of
the Statue of Liberty.
I don't wanna-- I can't
agree or disagree with
exactly how we got it in.
Basically, the only
things that you can get in
are things that
are on your body,
I'll say it that way.
held the banner up, and then...
dropped it over
the side of the ledge,
and tied it around back.
One of the fears
we had was that,
you know, the tree would fall
and it wouldn't make a sound.
Woman 1:
Is this act covered
under free speech?
There are other places
for these opinions
to be expressed.
Woman 2:
National Park Service is now
trying to figure out
who's responsible.
Von Furstenberg:
Lady Liberty is like
a green seal of
approval for freedom.
So, obviously,
as a symbol for freedom,
she's been used all
the time for protest.
(protesters chanting)
Even the day she is
revealed, the same day,
there's the first protest.
A group of women rented
a boat and circled the island,
yelling out protest speeches.
Here, we have this
massive statue
of a woman holding up a torch,
representing liberty, and yet,
women in the United States
didn't even have
the liberty to vote.
Von Furstenberg:
Women were not allowed.
I mean, how crazy is that?
(indistinct radio chatter)
Man (over radio):
Unauthorized person climbing
the Statue of Liberty
at this time.
Breaking news just in.
Liberty Island in New York
City is being evacuated.
Ferry boats rushing
tourists to safety
on this busy Fourth
of July holiday.
An tense standoff after a woman
climbed the iconic landmark,
protest of immigration policy.
America is a place
immigrants were
welcome to come to.
How do we justify
putting them in cages?
It is the same way
that was used to
justify slavery.
Officers climbing
to get close to her,
but the woman is
staying out of reach.
I found refuge under
the statue's sandals.
She has a sandal
and she's got a chain on
her that she broke free.
The protester seems to be
resting there in the base,
at the very foot of the statue.
Being underneath her robe
and praying that she was
listening to my cries
soothed me enough that
I knew everything
would be just fine.
Woman (as Emma Lazarus):
Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses
yearning to breathe free.
(echoing): To breathe free.
To breathe free.
To breathe free...
(wind whistling)
I lift my lamp...
Beside the golden door...
Von Furstenberg:
When you don't think about it,
you just think
it's a big statue,
welcoming statue in New York
and a tourist destination.
She's so present
now in my life.
She has become
part of my family,
or I have become
part of her family.
And this is the torch. What
is the torch is a symbol of?
The torch is really
the essence...
of what the statue is about.
Freedom, hope,
new horizon,
everything is possible.
We are all equal.
Anyone who is involved
in Lady Liberty
passes it on to
the next generation,
and it becomes a chain of love.
To liberty!
-Man: Beautiful thing.
-Von Furstenberg:
It's her who took over.
She is more powerful
and she is
more determined
than any of people
who made it happen.
Man (as Bartholdi):
I dreamed of this.
I said to myself,
what a great thing it would be
for this statue to be placed
in the midst of such a scene
of life and liberty.
My dream has been realized.
I can only say
that I am enchanted.
Goodbye, my daughter, Liberty.
I am glad you are home at last.
(camera clicks)
All right, let's go.
Right here, right now
Right here, right now
Right here, right now
Right here, right now
Right here, right now
Right here, here, here...
(echoing continuing)