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Left to right: Stephan Anspichler, Lotti Latrous, Mme. Doris, Swiss Vice-Consul Norbert Arnold and wife Rita
Lotti Latrous and filmmaker Stephan Anspichler
Meeting Lotti Latrous in Los Angeles
On May 31, 2007 at 7:30 p.m. the World Premiere of the Film "Egoiste" took place in Beverly Hills.
I was thrilled to meet the humanitarian and "Swiss Woman of the Year 2004" Lotti Latrous, her husband Aziz and her youngest daughter Sarah in person.
This remarkable documentary film by Stephan Anspichler deserves everyone's attention and I urge you to go see it.
Everything that Lotti Latrous has created on the Ivory Coast of Africa in the last seven years has been based on a number of serious and difficult life decisions. Having lived a fulfilling family life, the mother of three children started critically questioning of her path, which raised to doubt the meaning of her affluent and luxurious life-style. In her quest to understanding, Lotti became to see herself as dependent on the social norms and demands of her society. However, having had everything and confirmed perfectly, she realized that her soul was not fulfilled.
As she was working for Mother Theresa Hospice and accompanying the dying, she saw for the first time importance and richness of life. It was then that she realized how much she has to offer. Her decision to stay in Ivory Coast and to open an AIDS clinic there offered her an opportunity to explore what it meant to live freely. That was a choice that society could not easily understand because 'Madame Lotti' abandoned her family (including her nine year old daughter Sarah) in order to make home and give love to the sick and needing people in Adjouffou, one of the slums of Abidjan.
Lotti Latrous calls herself the "biggest egoist of the world" because of the social judgement she was confronted with and moral conflicts in regard to her family that she was obliged to respond to. Today she knows that her decision was a good one. Her personal journey was incredibly meaningful for her and brought her the liberation she craved from an affluent life that carried little meaning for her. From having had everything, she gave up almost all; yet now she feels more fortune than ever.
By loosening her family obligations and following her heart, Lotti created a new life for her and for the people around her, for which she is respected internationaly. Her incredible dedication to work, her enormous giving, and her will to fight against injustice has made her a role model for many who support her enthusiastically. Yet, all long, she simply does what she wants.
By the way: Lotti Latrous does not like to be compared to Mother Theresa: "First of all, I'm not Catholic, second, I enjoy a drink, and third, I have three children!"
Photographer was on assignment for "German World Magazine" - Photos taken with small compact camera