Saturday, 16 June 2012

A Royal Affair, my lesson in Danish history

This week I saw the new Danish film, A Royal Affair. Before going along I did the usual trick of Googling the title and came up with the IMBD lowdown. I love the way movie synopses on IMDB have a way of demeaning a whole movie and making it sound very trite. Consider this description of the film:

A young queen, who is married to an insane king, falls secretly in love with her physician - and together they start a revolution that changes a nation forever.

No doubt that is the gist of the story, but the film is much more and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

A Royal Affair is a costume drama and love story beautifully filmed in the Czech Republic. For me the most interesting aspect of the film was the political history, in that it covered the era when the ideas of the Enlightenment were being brought to Denmark. We all know about the French Revolution, but what happened elsewhere in Europe at that time? The above-mentioned physician, Johann Friedrich Struensee, was a figure of the Enlightenment, influenced by the ideas Voltaire and Rousseau. He brought these dangerous new ideas to the King of Denmark and his Queen.  The action takes place between 1766 and 1775, covering the reforms of the so-called "Struensee era" …that is before the start of the French revolution in 1789.

More about Struensee era in Danish history here on Wikipedia.

Also check out the official A Royal Affair site

There is a very good Variety review - here:

The film will be showing at the Sydney Film festival

In Perth it will be showing at the Windsor Theatre Nedlands

Go and see it if you love costume dramas, with royal court intrigues, starring hot Danish actors. You will learn a bit about Danish history along the way.

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