The Makeover of Ashton Croyd (2023) - full transcript

In this pseudo-documentary, the Berlin based photographer Lisa Jonrel follows the homeless street musician Ashton Croyd for 6 months to observe him transform into a star.

(gentle music)

- [Helena] Some metro
systems have circle lines.

These lines used to intrigue me.

They go round and round and
round and lead you nowhere.

The longer you ride the
less sense it makes.

The moment you've done the
full circle and continue riding

there is cause for concern.

(gentle music)

I've encountered circle
lines in two cities

in London and in Berlin.

I'll never put my foot
in neither of them again.

I met Ashton, Croyd
along both lines

with almost 20
years between them.

I'm here to tell his story.

(gentle music)

You may think you've
heard it before,

but you haven't really,

not the true story.

Many of you will remember the
pictures of a man going under,

but that's not who he was, at
least not how I remember him.

(gentle music)

And as he's not here to
tell the story himself,

I'll try my best.

You'll see some interviews
and clips from his last year,

but they've been
edited and censored

by the people
behind the project.

And believe me, there were
dark forces behind this

that don't want to
show their true faces.

It took quite a few legal
battles to come to this point,

but here I am now.

I found enough footage
and information,

and the more I've found,
the more I understand

where you'll find his soul.

(gentle music)

It's in his music.

♪ When the city wakes ♪

♪ When the city wakes ♪

♪ It will see what
we've been through ♪

♪ When the morning breaks ♪

♪ If we've survived ♪

♪ When the city wakes ♪

- [Helena] Since I
was a little girl,

I've always wanted to be
an actress, to be in films,

to tell romantic
stories of love and hate

and of life and death.

And here I am, finally
doing my own film.

And even though it contains
all the ingredients

I could wish for, this is not
the kind of film I imagined.

(upbeat music)

I expect no red carpet.

No applause from the audience
on the opening night,

like I dreamed of 20 years ago.

A dream that led me to London
to develop as an actress

at one of the world's
leading drama schools.

And it's there that
I met Ashton Croyd.

(upbeat music)

♪ When the city wakes ♪

♪ When the city wakes ♪

♪ It will see what
we've been through ♪

♪ When the morning breaks ♪

♪ If we've survived ♪

♪ When the city wakes ♪

- [Helena] Well, Ashton
was not his real name,

but the class gave
up to pronounce

his original Scandinavian
name after a couple of months.

So he chose Ashton
Croyd as an alias.

(gentle music)

The in London was a time
of Shakespeare and love,

fencing and passion and
drama on many levels.

I was taken off guard when he
fell madly in love with me.

(gentle music)

We were rehearsing scenes from
the comedy "Twelfth night."

He played the jester Feste,

and I played Olivia.

(gentle music)

Officially I could not allow
myself to return his feelings.

I was engaged.

But in the rehearsal space,

I sometimes couldn't
restrain myself.

It was like living
in a different world

where they spoke a poetic
and romantic language

that seemed so much more
relevant to our feelings

than the language
we found outside.

(gentle music)

Our backgrounds couldn't
be more different,

but here we could be equals.

We were both foreigners.

But as even the English students
struggled with Shakespeare,

we didn't feel out of place.

We fell in love while speaking
this long lost language

so much that the reality
outside started to blur out.

(soft music)

The drama school was scattered
around southwest London,

so we were constantly
on the move underground.

The sound of the Tube became
the soundtrack of that time.

The screeching sound of
friction between metals,

the lights flashing by
in the dark tunnels,

then the complete
silence and the darkness

when the lights went off.

(upbeat music)

When school was finished,
he took a detour

to follow me to Notting
Hill where I lived.

After saying goodbye there,

he would continue on the
circle line to his dodgy flat

and King's Cross,
as he told me later.

(soft music)

London was the coolest city
in the world at the time.

And to us it was the
perfect location.

We were the center
of the action.

When we were together, I was
the leading lady of my life

and he was the
leading man of his.

(soft music)

Our many goodbyes by the steps
in Notting Hill Tube Station

had so much suspense in them.

He wanted desperately
to be physical,

but I would coquettishly
keep him at an arm's length.

I could not allow
that in public.

And I knew it had to stop.

(gentle music)

There was a life after this,

and I knew I had already
let it gone too far.

(crowd chattering)

"Twelfth Night" was the
last play we did together

as groups changed
for the next plays.

So did the locations
for the rehearsals.

It was a relief to me.

I had such bad conscience
towards my fiance.

Now I would have less
contact with Ashton.

I knew that if I spent more
time with him at this point,

there would be no going back.

And I could just imagine the
size of that scandal back home.

We said our final goodbyes
at the street corner

outside South
Kensington Tube Station.

♪ I live a note but don't know ♪

♪ What it's for ♪

♪ Just scribble something down ♪

♪ To make this matter more ♪

♪ But it won't change a thing ♪

♪ Its all the same ♪

♪ Once it could have mattered ♪

♪ But the moment never came ♪

♪ Should say hello
to something else ♪

- [Helena] And he
didn't follow me

with a train to
Notting Hill this time

he said that we would
never meet again.

It felt like he had
turned completely cold.

♪ Why are we still
worlds apart ♪

♪ Have I been a fool
just to trust in fate ♪

♪ Have I been a clown wasting
time to wait for you ♪

♪ Are we still worlds
apart tonight ♪

♪ When yours shine so bright ♪

- [Helena] I cried my heart
out after he had jumped

on the Piccadilly Line
train back to King's Cross.

If I could have seen
into the future then

I would've run after him
and never let him go.

♪ So I've cleared my
head my words are out ♪

♪ But you will never know
what this is all about ♪

♪ My words will
give no meaning ♪

♪ You'll see no sense ♪

♪ But it will work just fine ♪

♪ As proof of my pretense ♪

(upbeat music)

- [Helena] So I moved
back to Germany,

settled with my
fiance, got married

and did what people
wanted me to do.

Did what I thought I had to do.

It was a failure.

I could never settle
into being the Hausfrau

that people wanted me to become.

I could not give him kids.

I hated keeping up
the appearances.

He could never understand
my fits of restlessness,

anger, bitterness.

♪ Who are we ♪

♪ Who are we now ♪

♪ Who are we now ♪

♪ Who we we ♪

♪ Who are we now ♪

♪ Who are we now ♪

- [Helena] The sad thing
is that it took me 18 years

to realize it.

(upbeat music)

I had no contact with
Ashton in this period.

But a week after me
and my husband split,

he contacted me on Facebook,
said he was coming to Berlin,

if we could meet.

It was like God wanted to
give us a second chance.

(upbeat music)

It was a shock to see him again.

I was so full of expectations,
having sent messages

back and forth.

The old feelings came
back this sensation

of being back in
this romantic film.

But when I opened the door and
saw him, I remember thinking,

"Oh no, it's too late."

It broke my heart.

(gentle music)

But I had to take him in and
we had to explore the feelings

that never had been
allowed to be explored.

We had to become us.

(upbeat music)

♪ Who are we ♪

♪ Who are we now ♪

♪ Who are we we now ♪

♪ Who are we ♪

♪ Who are we now ♪

♪ Who are we now ♪

- [Helena] I think
he knew deep down

where this was heading,
but we had to explore it.

Even though it would
end in tears again.

(gentle music)

And it would.

(gentle music)

I introduced him to
Lisa before we split.

She was an artist working
with photo concepts

and installations.

I'd been discovering
Ashton's music again

in the time we had together.

And I thought there was
something special in his songs.

It was still as pure
as back in London.

And I wanted to stay
in Berlin at least

to be artistically fruitful.

Lisa was not a close friend,

but she moved in the
same circles as me.

And at a dinner party, she had
been talking about a concept

that she was developing.

- I was invited to have an
exclusive photo exhibition

at the JRGallery in Berlin.

This would be my second one.

And they wanted me
back as my previous one

a few years earlier,
was a great success.

The working title
or my working title

was Impossible Changes.

I wanted to prove that change
is possible if you want it,

however difficult it seems.

It was a theme that I had
been working on for a while,

but I found it kind of difficult
to find the right angle

or the right focus on it,

because the images I already
had were a bit too general

and a bit of, yeah, all
over the place, you know.

- [Helena] Lisa had really
grown big in art circles

as she managed to reach
new and bigger audiences

to the galleries.

(soft music)

She came across as down
to earth and modest,

but always managed to catch
the latest in pop culture.

And she was second to
none when it came to PR.

The critics actually
claimed her true art form

was exactly that.

Public Relations.

- [Lisa] He was a
really rough looking,

middle aged character.

And from his appearance
it looked like

he was living on the streets.

And I found it kind
of funny because

he had a black acoustic
guitar that he seemed

to be taking better
care of than himself.

And he wasn't
impressive in any way.

I mean, the bascas in
Berlin are of high standard

and often working professionals

that just need some
extra cash, you know.

But sometimes the moods that
he created made me stop.

It was like he
shared his whole life

with the busy
commuters passing by.

Somehow he could fill the
space with this human soul

and this guitar
and this big voice.

(footsteps thudding)

♪ Feel the current
is getting stronger ♪

♪ I need to find
my way back again ♪

♪ No way to find the
light you search for ♪

♪ No use in waiting for
this feeling to fade ♪

♪ When your tear
touch the ground ♪

♪ We're gonna find
the way back again ♪

♪ Cause it's too hard
loving you know ♪

♪ It's too hard loving ♪

♪ It's too hard loving to hard ♪

♪ You feel your body
fight against you ♪

♪ Is it your will
to push it further ♪

♪ And when your feet
touch the ground ♪

♪ You know you've found ♪

♪ Your way back again ♪

♪ 'Cause its too
hard loving you now ♪

♪ Its too hard loving you ♪

♪ Its too hard loving ♪

♪ Too hard ♪

♪ It's too hard ♪

♪ You know its too hard ♪

♪ Now its too hard ♪

♪ You know its too hard ♪

♪ And it's too hard ♪

♪ You know its too hard ♪

♪ It's too hard ♪

♪ Too hard ♪

♪ Too hard ♪

♪ Too hard ♪

- [Helena] Oh time, thou
must untangle this, not I.

It is too hard a
knot for me to untie.

(soft music)

- Say, I didn't recognize any
of the songs he performed.

So, I assumed that it was
his own material, you know.

I think it's a brave
choice if you want people

to like what you're doing.

But somehow he seemed misplaced.

(gentle music)

In the beginning it was
just a passing thought.

But one day, when I
returned to my studio,

I started thinking, "Why is
this person in this situation?

"Could he change
his life around?

"And what would this
change be like, you know?

"I mean, how far can that go?"

Yeah and that's it.

That's how my
exhibition took a turn

and became the makeover
of Ashton Croyd.

(gentle music)

- [Helena] In nature there's
no blemish, but the mind,

none can be called
deformed but the unkind.

♪ Lead me on ♪

♪ Just lead me on ♪

♪ Lead me on ♪

♪ Lead me on ♪

♪ Just come what may ♪

♪ We'll deal with
it on our way ♪

♪ Just lead me on ♪

♪ Lead me on ♪

♪ Yeah, just lead me on ♪

♪ Lead me on ♪

♪ Just lead me ♪

♪ Let's just pretend ♪

♪ That there won't be
no end ♪

♪ Ooh ♪

♪ Just lead me on ♪

- I needed to move
forward with my project

and it was an exhibition
about our time.

So I had to move forward with
the platforms of our time.

Because the exhibition
should be the closing of it

and the presentation
would be done online

on all the social
media platforms.

We are making a documentary

and they are following
me through my project.

- [Ashton] Okay, so they
they're a part of the--

- They are part of--

- [Ashton] Part of it
- yeah, they are

just the people to--

- [Ashton] There's
nothing hidden.

- [Lisa] No.

♪ Lead me on ♪

♪ Yeah just lead me on ♪

♪ Lead me on ♪

♪ Lead me on ♪

♪ Just come what may ♪

♪ We'll deal with
it on our way ♪

♪ Lead me on ♪

♪ Yeah just lead me on ♪

♪ Lead me on ♪

♪ Lead me on ♪

♪ Let's just pretend ♪

♪ That there won't be no way ♪

♪ Ooh ♪

♪ Just lead me on ♪

♪ Lead me on just come what may ♪

♪ And we'll deal
with it on our way ♪

♪ Yeah just lead me on ♪

♪ Oh just lead me on ♪

♪ And come what may, ♪

♪ We'll deal with
it on our way ♪

♪ Let's just pretend ♪

♪ There will be no end ♪

♪ Just lead me on ♪

♪ Lead me on ♪

♪ Just lead me on ♪

♪ Just lead me on ♪

♪ Lead me on ♪

♪ Just lead me on ♪

- [Helena] I think Ashton
thought the makeover

would be a biographical
photo exhibition about him

as a musician.

And that Lisa would let the
music play a vital part of it.

That one would give
attention to the other.

That the focus would be
on him as a performer.

- [Ashton] A makeover,
it's a silly concept.

Yeah, I know, everybody loves it

because it's very much
in the time, yeah.

Because people think that,

"Oh, I lose whatever kilos
or blah, blah blah, blah."

And then, "Oh look, success."

This is pathetic,
we all know this.

But it's a symbol
that people, you know,

it is this dream of
something can happen.

My life can change
around completely.

I can become
something else, yeah.

It's all a scam, it's not true.

To me it's about the music.

That's what I live and breathe.

That's what I care about.

That's my life.

- [Helena] I tried to reach
Ashton in this period,

but I couldn't get
through to him.

He was completely cut off
from the outside world.

However, we could all follow
the project on social media.

I had a growing feeling that
he was doing it all for me

to win me back.

That he would stand
at my door again

having lived up to
his full potential

that we would have our third
chance to get things right.

- If you don't follow, you
know, these are cliches,

but you know this.

If you don't fit into this,

then you are nothing basically.

So it's not so much about,
"Oh, I didn't make it."

It's about, "I don't
wanna be a part of it."

I don't wanna be a
part of it, yeah.

And then when you don't
wanna be a part of it,

you know, it's the
anarchist problem.

If you don't wanna be a part
of it, there's nothing for you.

You're fucked.

(soft music)

Because you have to
settle for our rules.

We come to this world naked.

Have absolutely nothing.

We come to this world naked.

And then after say two decades,

some people get the
idea in their mind

that they know how
everything works.

"Oh, the reason why you're
here is because this and that.

"And you have to behave
like this and that."

Who the fuck gave
them these ideas?

And who are they to tell
me or you what to do?

You came to this world
screaming, naked.

For fuck sake.

- [Lisa] Ashton was in a
deep crisis when I met him.

(soft music)

I was introduced to
him by Helena Von Hoff

who actually had been
dating him to that point.

I think she felt really
bad about the situation

as she was the reason
he was in Berlin.

I had contacted her
right before that,

because I wanted
tips on musicians

that were struggling in Berlin.

So she hoped that a
cooperation with me

would help him move on quicker.

- Can you explain to me why...

It's, you have it in religion,

you have it in society,
you have the...

Suddenly people
become judgemental.

Suddenly some people,
"I'm so clever

"that I can judge you."


You came to this world
screaming red, blue or whatever

in the face, having
absolutely nothing.

Let's face it.

It's a fucking disgrace.

(gentle music)

(train engine revving)

(gentle music)

I want to be me.

Yeah, I want to be me

(sirens wailing)

so badly.

(sirens wailing)

(Ashton chuckles)

- [Interviewer] A
little change happen?

(sirens wailing)

- Well.. the change, it
sounds like a disease.


- [Interviewer] What
about the change of mind?

You can say, "I change
my perspective."

- Well, I'm sitting
here with you.

So things are, something
is happening, isn't it?

I dunno what, and I'm not naive.

(Ashton chuckles)

I don't think, you know,
things fall from the sky.

But what is there
to lose for me?

I'm so, here I am
talking to you.

All your silly questions.

(gentle music)

- Being hungry, being
cold, being no...

Have no roof and stuff, and
being ignored from other people.

That's what I wanna change.

I don't know.

I have the feeling that it's
my responsibility to do that

because I see so many people
that ignore that situation

and I'm not able to ignore it.

So I think it's my
responsibility to show that.

(upbeat music)

- This is what people
are so crazy about.

You need to talk
about your past, yeah.

Oh yeah, your past.

Where are you from?

When did it go wrong?



(car engine revving)

I don't believe it.

I don't think it's interesting.

I think people are too
concerned with these things.

I think they're
completely obsessed

with the concept of where
they're from, where they belong.

You know, people,
the world goes mental

about this at the moment.

(upbeat music)

It is important to tell
the story, isn't it?

How did you end up like this?

Where did you come from, huh?

- [Interviewer]
You know the story

is always about having the
past and moving forward.

- Yeah, yeah, I know in
your book it is, isn't it?

In your book, yeah?

- [Interviewer] We
don't have a book.

- [Ashton] Oh, you
don't play okay.

- [Interviewer] We
don't have a book.

We just go by what you tell
us, you know what your--

(car engine revving)

- And then it's freezing.

It's, what would you expect?

How would you feel?

- [Interviewer] Well, to
be honest, I'm pretty glad

that I have a home.

- Why aren't you at home?

Why aren't you warm in
your living room, huh?

The bedroom, wrapped
up in your duvet, huh?

Why are you here?

- [Lisa] Even though
we were spending

quite a lot of time together,

I had problems talking about
how he spends his nights.

He said that he had
his naps on benches

and that he had a station
that he uses as a base

and that is under construction.

And he was very, very proud.

He never talked about
himself as homeless.

(upbeat music)

- Yeah, I mean, honestly,
there's one thing I regret

in regard to Lisa's exhibition.

I do regret that we didn't
manage to protect her better.

You know, I mean a lot of
crazy things were going on

long before we
even opened doors.

There was news about this
thing like going mad.

It was a wildfire.

♪ It's time flash
your white teeth ♪

♪ It's time to let them stare ♪

♪ God knows what's
lying underneath ♪

♪ This fabric just won't tear ♪

♪ What a glamorous sight ♪

♪ Breaking through the night ♪

♪ All you see is waving hands ♪

♪ In the light ♪

♪ But I can't give you
what you came for ♪

♪ Just have a look round here
and see what's going on ♪

♪ And tell me who you
play this game for ♪

♪ You can go on all night ♪

♪ But soon I will
be gone, so long ♪

♪ You can go on all
night, but soon ♪

♪ I will be gone ♪

♪ I'll be gone I'll
be gone I'll be gone ♪

- You know the fan group, the
hashtag, the charity thing.

There were songs streamed
all over the place, viral.

You know, millions of clicks.

Images, tweets.

Kind of the momentum
was incredible.

I decided to hire
a young film crew

to create some clips and
content to enable people

to follow her process.

And that slowly developed into
the idea of a documentary.

Same happened with
the music by the way.

The clips of Ashton Croyd's
performances became so popular.

It was natural to, you know,
to book him into a studio.

Have a backing band.

It must have been like
winning a lottery.

♪ Go where your
feet will take you ♪

♪ You know it's getting late ♪

♪ Become what they
will make you ♪

♪ Knock knock knock ♪

♪ Here comes your fate ♪

♪ What a wonderful day ♪

♪ And I can hear them say ♪

♪ This must be the
perfect hide away ♪

♪ Aah ♪

♪ Yeah ♪

♪ But I can't give you
what you came for ♪

♪ Just have a look round here ♪

♪ And see what's going on ♪

♪ And tell me who you
play this game for ♪

♪ We can go on all night ♪

♪ But soon I will
be gone so long ♪

♪ We can go on all night ♪

♪ But soon I will be gone ♪

♪ I will be gone ♪

♪ I will be gone ♪

♪ I will be gone ♪

♪ I will be gone ♪

- At first it's
important that the person

already has an aura, so
I can catch something.

And then I think
it's very important

to get in a relationship
with a person

that the person can trust me.

And yeah, the
important thing is that

the person doesn't
feel uncomfortable

or doesn't feel
naked in any way.

That he feels
occupied in my work

and that he feels good.

(upbeat music)

(suspenseful music)

- [Helena] So after a
month of charming him

and building up his trust,
Ashton signed a contract

with Lisa that gave
her the freedom

to follow him and take
photos as she pleased

for her exhibition.

(suspenseful music)

In return the
gallery would finance

the recording of Ashton's music.

I guess we will
never know if he knew

what he was signing up for.

Or if he cared about
the consequences

as long as he would be able
to finish his musical project.

♪ This crossroad
wasn't on my map ♪

♪ So I suspected it
could be a trap ♪

♪ Made my choice ♪

♪ Couldn't tell ♪

♪ If it would lead to
heaven or to hell ♪

♪ Ooh I still remember ♪

♪ The songs in my head ♪

♪ When I walked the streets ♪

♪ Back then ♪

♪ Was it you was it
you all the time ♪

♪ Was it you was it
you all the time ♪

♪ Was it you ♪

(upbeat music)

- When Lisa Jonrel became
kind of his manager,

Ashton Croyd grew a substantial
fan base, quite fast.

She basically used
him as a PR stunt

and people say that she
actually didn't want him

to get off the streets because
he was more easy to set.

(gentle music)

- I remember a press
release was forwarded to me

about a photographer
who single-handedly

would fight homelessness
with a camera.

I laughed at it and thought,

"Oh no another idealist
posing as Mother Theresa."

Until I read who was behind it.

(soft music)

Her first solo exhibition got
a ridiculous amount of press.

For a couple of weeks,
she was like a pop star

and no one seemed to
know what happened.

She was the new poster
girl for the art world

and what could then
be more provoking

than it all looking like she
was running a kind of charity.

She was that good a sales woman.

(soft music)

Lisa's social media
campaigns had a broader range

than I think she intended.

What started as a PR
for a solo exhibition

gave birth to a local
popular cultural icon.

(soft music)

First the photos.

And they worked
great on Instagram

and that's how his
career just exploded.

(soft music)

But then very soon
it was also his story

that the fans were interested in

and they wanted to save this
poor man living on the streets.

(gentle music)

I believe her
intentions probably were

to reach a more
intellectual art audience.

(gentle music)

His fan base was
soon named Croydsberg

after the group's
origin in Kreuzberg.

They were mostly millennials
that was probably looking

for a just cause to fight for.

And in principle, what
could be more just

than fighting for the people
we see suffering every day.

(gentle music)

[speaking in foreign language]

- We are always told that
we are what we deserve.

But that's all a lie.

And we are here
to stop the lies.

We will not stop until
every person on the streets

has been given help.

Has been given a house, a
permanent room and self respect.

[speaking in foreign language]

- Well actually from
my point of view,

Ashton Croyd isn't the first
one who needs to be saved.

He is a White male.

He comes from one of the
richest countries in the world

with a perfectly
well social system.

[speaking in foreign language]

- Reporters has put my
life under scrutiny.


I mean this has been hyped up

and I... bless them.

I adore the Croydsberg,

but they are at the moment
not exactly what I need.

Because I have to live
up to some sort of ideal

that I'm not comfortable with

or can't live with.

(gentle music)

- They created the #makeroom.

And basically it was
about getting room

for everyone living
on the streets.

- I guess my only
real connection

might be that I'm walking
past homeless people

and people who are trying
and fighting for their lives

and basic needs every day,

that I'm walking
past them every day.

And if you live in a
big city like I do,

at some point you'll
start to unnotice it

and blend out the nasty
stuff from the ugly stuff.

'Cause you don't want to see it.

(gentle music)

[speaking in foreiagn language]

- I am not a good human being.

I am not a good human being.

I've hurt so many people.

(gentle music)

[speaking in foreign language]

(gentle music)

[speaking in foreign language]

(gentle music)

(birds chirping)

- The one thing I
cannot forgive myself

for is that..

I left a little girl behind.

- He really loved my mom.

You know, he really, really did.

(gentle music)

I don't know, kind of in
a way I always forgave him

for leaving because he
made my mom so very happy.

And I just, I loved
seeing her with him

because she laughed at
all of the stupid jokes,

even when they weren't
funny, she laughed.

He had this childhood
and this background

that wasn't the easiest and
I just would always blame

it all on that.


he just, he brought
out the best in her

and that's what I
loved about him.

(gentle music)

And when she got really ill,

(gentle music)

we both just decided to
cry all our tears out

and just we sat there in our
living room and just cried.

(gentle music)

It's was so long.

(upbeat music)

♪ Now everything's dark ♪

♪ And I know that that
is scary for you ♪

♪ But we'll keep on
watching while you sleep ♪

♪ And I may not be strong ♪

♪ And I may be scared
just like you ♪

♪ But I've seen it before ♪

♪ And I know what to do ♪

♪ In my own way ♪

♪ I will chase the shadows ♪

♪ In my own way ♪

♪ To keep them away from you ♪

♪ The sun will be up ♪

♪ To chase the
night away again ♪

♪ With laughters and fights ♪

♪ Of a new day ♪

♪ And I wish I could show ♪

♪ I wish I could
prove myself to you ♪

♪ So you could be safe
when darkness arrives ♪

♪ In my own way ♪

♪ In my own way ♪

♪ I will chase the shadows ♪

♪ In my own way ♪

♪ To keep them away from you ♪

♪ In my own way ♪

♪ I will fight the dragons ♪

♪ In my own way ♪

♪ To keep them away from you ♪

♪ You ♪

♪ Chase the shadows ♪

♪ Fight the dragons ♪

♪ Night and day for you ♪

♪ In my own way ♪

♪ In my own way ♪

- When the funeral
came, I didn't have

and I didn't have any
tears left to cry.

So I was the one
comforting people and he...

That's why I'm not mad at him.

I just don't get it.

I mean, if you love a
person, how can you leave?

I just, I don't get it.

(gentle music)

- And that's where it all
goes wrong in my head.

Time and time again.

(soft music)

Everything looks bright.

(birds chirping)

(soft music)

- [Helena] I should have known
that he had lived a life too.

It had been almost
20 years after all.

But he never told me about this.

It was like my whole
world fell apart.

The makeover was
never to win me back.

It was for her.

I realized you don't get a
third chance in real life.

I'd become a sad,
conceited person.

(gentle music)

[speaking in foreiagn language]

- [Helena] When public opinions
started to go against Lisa,

she went on a crusade
to defend her actions.

As I was not able to
reach Ashton

for along period of time,

and as she would ignore
my calls and messages,

I went to the press
to express my concern.

I wasn't the only one.

[speaking in foreiagn language]

- [Helena] The Croydsberg
movement was starting

to divide itself
into two fractions.

On one hand, there
were the people

who were completely
loyal to Lisa

and on the other, a growing
group of concerned activists

and social workers.

[speaking in foreign language]

- Yeah people turned on Lisa

and it was really ugly to
follow the Croydsberg movement.

(gentle music)

They started to follow
her, they threatened her.

She had to move her
flat, move all her stuff

out of the studio.

She had to stay low.

(soft music)

- [Helena] The answer
to the question

of how he could survive on
the street for half a year

awaiting his music to
be released is simple.

The Berlin Press
called it der cocktail.

- I woke up one morning
and the first thing I saw

was a reporter asking me,

[Ashton, in German]

And they want to know
who's supplying this.

24/7 they trace me because
they want to find out

where these drop off points are.

So I have to move
in mysterious ways

to get away from all these
people trying to find out

where the drop off points are.

- [Helena] The cocktail was a
mix of substances and drinks

to keep him at bay.

They fed it to him secretly,
nobody could trace it.

- I mean, how can anyone
sponsor a life on the street?

How's that even possible?

[speaking in foreign language]

- [Helena] The
makeover as an idea

was starting to become a joke.

Lisa had gone into the
project wanting Ashton

to change from a homeless person
into a star in six months.

But everyone could see his
appearance deteriorating

day by day, giving
the opposite effect.

They got the timing wrong,
the momentum came too early.

The exhibition came too late.

(gentle music)

- I wanted Ashton
to release his music

as a part of the project.

I knew that was
important to him.

However, I couldn't
do everything alone.

And the people I worked
with made the conclusion

that his music was a bit
wrong for the project.

It was not the sound
of Berlin in 2018.

And we needed the
sound of Berlin in 2018

to follow my photos.

And there were also reports
that he was very difficult

to work with, that the
producer was really

struggling with him.

- [Helena] The producer
wanted to use bits and pieces

of his melodies and mix
them on top of industrial

dance grooves to portray
the grit and gloominess

of Berlin's underworld.

Yet finally being given
time to record his music.

But the producer had
left the session.

He could not work
with neither Ashton

nor his music, he claimed.

He had canceled the
first day of recording

due to the smell.

A smell you can expect from
my man living on the street

for half a year.

He was forced to wash before
coming back the next day.

- [Lisa] Remember, this
was my project, not his.

People missed that point.

Yes, I understand that his
song and his personality

made people take
him to their hearts.

But none of that would
happen without me.

Now people want to
give him all the credit

and that is just wrong.

This is my concept,
my story, my creation.

- [Helena] But at the 11th
hour, Lisa and the gallery

got their act together and
a physical makeover started.

They got the inspiration
from the heyday of Hollywood,

rainbow diet pills.

The cocktail changed from
alcohol to amphetamines.

(upbeat music)

♪ We're drifted with the wind ♪

♪ Got lost along the way ♪

♪ And when a storm came up ♪

♪ We knew we couldn't be saved ♪

♪ Cause we were chasing
different things ♪

♪ Like people do ♪

♪ And there was
no time to think ♪

♪ No time to act ♪

♪ No time for me and you ♪

♪ I stay alone just
to hurt myself ♪

♪ I stay alone because I care ♪

♪ I stay alone
because sometimes ♪

♪ I know our love
will reappear ♪

♪ And you'll be there ♪

♪ Yeah, you'll be there ♪

♪ Well, I admit defeat ♪

♪ I honestly see where I fail ♪

♪ You seem to call the shots ♪

♪ And wanting me to
chase your tail ♪

♪ As I was pushing forward ♪

♪ You would lag behind ♪

♪ And there was no time to do ♪

♪ What we wanted to then ♪

♪ I stay alone just
to hurt myself ♪

♪ I stay alone because I can ♪

♪ I stay alone because in time ♪

♪ I know our love
will reappear ♪

♪ The sweetest love
that I've ever had ♪

♪ The brightest sky
I've ever seen ♪

♪ It all came crashing down ♪

♪ Somehow I wish the
gods will intervene ♪

♪ You know what I mean ♪

(gentle music)

- So when you asked me
to do the interview,

I was happy to do so.

Most of all to defend Lisa.

And I will defend the
right to express yourself

in any given situation.

You know, freedom of speech
is at the core of my work.

And I will not let
criticism or cynicism

rule me or compromise my work

and compromise the artist
I choose to display.

- [Helena] Come
away, come away death

and in sad cypress,
let me be laid.

Fly away, fly away breath.

I'm slain by a fair cruel maid.

My shroud of white
stuck all with yew,

O, prepare it!

My part of death, no one so true

did share it.

Not a flower, not a flower sweet

on my black coffin
let there be strown.

Not a friend, not a friend

greet my poor corpse, where
my bones shall be thrown.

A thousand thousand
sighs to save,

Lay me, O, where

sad true lover
never find my grave,

to weep there.

♪ Goodbye goodbye goodbye ♪

♪ Goodbye goodbye goodbye ♪

♪ This is goodbye ♪

♪ Goodbye goodbye goodbye ♪

♪ Goodbye goodbye goodbye ♪

♪ This is goodbye ♪

♪ Such a failure such a say ♪

♪ But there is no
wild beast to tame ♪

♪ I'm still me ♪

♪ Your liberator couldn't wait ♪

♪ But you'll regret
you took his bait ♪

♪ Cause you're not free ♪

♪ Goodbye goodbye goodbye ♪

♪ Goodbye goodbye goodbye ♪

♪ This is goodbye ♪

♪ Goodbye goodbye goodbye ♪

♪ Goodbye goodbye goodbye ♪

♪ This is goodbye ♪

♪ And please reach
out your hand to me ♪

♪ And make me understand ♪

♪ Come away come away death ♪

♪ And in sad cypress
let me be laid ♪

♪ Come away come away death ♪

♪ Fly away fly away breath ♪

♪ Just fly away ♪

♪ I am slain by a
fair cruel maid ♪

♪ Come away come away death ♪

♪ Come away come away death ♪

♪ And in sad cypress
let me be laid ♪

♪ Fly away fly away breathe ♪

♪ I am slain by a
fair cruel maid ♪

♪ My shroud of white
stuck all with yew ♪

♪ Come away come away ♪

♪ My part of death
no one so true ♪

♪ Come away come away death ♪

♪ This is goodbye ♪

♪ This is goodbye ♪

♪ This is goodbye ♪

♪ This is goodbye ♪

♪ This is goodbye ♪

♪ This is goodbye ♪

♪ Lay me O where ♪

♪ Sad true lover
never find my grave ♪

♪ To weep there ♪

♪ Goodbye goodbye ♪

♪ Goodbye goodbye ♪

- I think some people don't get

that we're dealing
with a man here

who wanted to exit
his life with a bang.

You know, he wanted to
orchestrate his own exit.

What a coward act
in a way, you know,

leave everybody behind
just for a glimpse of fame.

- [Helena] He had only
a few days to record

the songs you've
heard in this film.

When Lisa and her people found
the development of the music,

not according to the artistic
vision of the project,

the session was cut short.

I came by on the last
day, he was alone

and in a good mood.

It seemed he was
in a good place.

Back in drama school,
Ashton had made some tunes

for the songs in
"Twelfth Night."

They didn't seem to be
something special at the time.

But now 20 years later,
hearing them again,

I realized that they had
been with me all along

as tunes from the past that
I couldn't quite place.

- [Radio Host] She's
back by popular demand.

Please give a big hand
to Helena von Hoff

doing her famous recital
from "Twelfth Night."

- [Helena] O mistress mind,
where are you roaming?

O stay and hear!

Your true-love's coming

that can sing both high and low;

Trip no further,
pretty sweeting,

journeys end in lover's meeting.

Every wise man's son doth know.

What is love?

'Tis not hereafter;

present mirth hath
present laughter;

What's to come is still unsure,

(soft music)

in delay their lies no plenty.

Then come kiss me,
Sweet and-twenty.

Youth's a stuff will not endure.

- [Ashton] Okay, thank you.

- [Woman] Welcome.

(gentle music)

♪ In delay there
lies no plenty ♪

♪ Then come kiss me
sweet-and-twenty ♪

♪ Youth's a stuff
will not endure ♪

♪ Youth's a stuff
will not endure ♪

♪ Not endure ♪

♪ Not endure ♪

- [Helena] Not endure.

(soft music)

The last goodbye in
London had such an impact

on the two of us.

I knew leaving him was
the correct thing to do,

but I already knew
then that it wasn't

the right thing to do.

It has been haunting
me ever since.

(soft music)

We went to court to
stop Lisa spreading

more her of lies and
self-promotion in
her documentary.

There was only one way
to win that battle,

through his music.

That's where his soul was.

She stole his face, his tragedy,
his future and his fate.

But she did not steal his music

because it wasn't
the sound of 2018.

(gentle music)

- The moment somebody
puts money on the table,

you have to deliver something.

Which may have made me do
things that I wouldn't have done

because I feel a
slight pressure.

Well the only change
for me is that people

have started treating
me differently.

Looking me into the eyes.

(gentle music)

You treat me differently too.

I don't know, you have
to ask yourself, why.

(soft music)

- [Helena] Some metro
systems have circle lines.

These lines used to intrigue me.

They go round and round and
round and lead you nowhere.

The longer you ride,
the less sense it makes.

(gentle music)

So, I've come full circle.

(gentle music)

And now I need to get off.

(gentle music)

♪ Yeah I could feel the breeze ♪

♪ I saw the light ♪

♪ As I stood on the beach ♪

♪ A quiet summer night ♪

♪ I have this urge
to go to see ♪

♪ What's there ♪

♪ And bring it back some day ♪

♪ And keep it near ♪

♪ There's no better
life across the fjord ♪

♪ Don't ask me where I've been ♪

♪ Please just let me in ♪

♪ And I know you'll
understand me ♪

♪ I saw imaginary angels ♪

♪ Please forgive my sin ♪

♪ But the winds ♪

♪ Are so much colder now ♪

♪ And the waves ♪

♪ Splash against my face ♪

♪ I close my eyes to see ♪

♪ If it's still there ♪

♪ But there's no image left ♪

♪ I've found my place ♪

♪ There's no better
life across the fjord ♪

♪ Don't ask me where I've been ♪

♪ Please just let me in ♪

♪ And I know you'll
understand me ♪

♪ And so imaginary angels ♪

♪ Please forgive my sin ♪

♪ I say imaginary angels ♪

♪ Please forgive my sins ♪

(gentle music)

- [Helena] My stars
shine darkly over me.

The malignancy of my fate
might perhaps distemper yours.

Therefore, I shall
crave of you your leave

that I may bear my evils alone.

It were a bad
recompense for your love

to lay any of them on you.

(gentle music)

♪ Step by step by
I'm going down ♪

♪ Walking down the stairs ♪

♪ Going underground ♪

♪ I know where I
found my place ♪

♪ I'm cut off and I
can leave the race ♪

♪ Hey K ♪

♪ I've never felt
so close to you ♪

♪ As I do down here ♪

♪ Shall I jump on ♪

♪ Or jump off ♪

♪ Got the looks of a thief ♪

♪ And the eye of misbelief ♪

♪ But I dance like a queen ♪

♪ I've got a dog and a friend ♪

♪ Much the same ♪

♪ In the end at least the dog ♪

♪ Is kind of clean ♪

♪ There's a hole in my cup ♪

♪ So come on fill it up ♪

♪ Another day another night ♪

♪ Another fear I have to fight ♪

♪ With the hands of Chopin ♪

♪ And if you ask ♪

♪ It's a way to get by ♪

♪ My piano and I ♪

♪ And a bottle of wine ♪

♪ I've got a glass
and I've got ice ♪

♪ I've got cards
and I've got dice ♪

♪ But just ain't got no luck ♪

♪ Got a chair and a bed ♪

♪ Had a bird but it fled ♪

♪ The cage and I ♪

♪ We're stuck ♪

♪ There's a hole in my cup ♪

♪ Come and fill it up ♪

♪ Another day another night ♪

♪ Another fear I have to fight ♪

♪ With the hands of Chopin ♪

♪ And if you ask ♪

♪ Its a way to get by ♪

♪ My piano and I ♪

♪ And a bottle of wine ♪

♪ Got the voice of a priest ♪

♪ An incurable disease ♪

♪ I'm on top of my breed ♪

♪ There's a hole in my cup ♪

♪ Come and fill it up ♪

♪ Another day another night ♪

♪ Another fear I have to fight ♪

♪ With the hands of Chopin ♪

♪ And if you ask ♪

♪ It's a way to get by ♪

♪ My piano and I ♪

♪ And a bottle of wine ♪

♪ With the hands of Chopin ♪

♪ And if you ask ♪

♪ Its the way to get by ♪

♪ My piano and I ♪

♪ And a bottle of wine ♪