While growing up in Russia, AR had seen many films with silent screen star Mia May, and on her 1920s-era list of “Favorite Actresses,” AR listed May as #5. May was the wife of renowned Austrian movie director Joe May, also one of AR’s favorites.
October 11, 1948
Dear Mrs. May,
I find it very difficult to tell you how grateful I am for the pictures which you sent me. I have no way to explain how much they mean to me. It is my youth brought back—or, rather, a reward for the very difficult years of my youth, when the name “Mia May” and the things you represented were the symbol of the only beauty and relief I had while being imprisoned in hell. You will always remain a symbol of beauty to me.
I have had a very hard struggle to reach the things I wanted. That I should meet you in person, when I have finally
broken my way into pictures, is like a special reward to me, something very personal and precious—because the kind of pictures I want to write are in the style and spirit of the pictures you made. It is a spirit which does not exist in the world any longer—and part of my battle is to bring it back.
I would like very much to see you again and to thank you in person.
With all my admiration,