Her name is synonymous with the French monarchy and all its excesses, but there is more to the story of Marie Antoinette than the simple tale of how a frivolous sovereign helped provoke the uprising that became the French Revolution. Acclaimed documentary filmmaker David Grubin paints a surprising portrait of a courageous figure and traces her journey from the splendors of a childhood in the mighty Austro-Hungarian Empire to a French guillotine.
"All eyes will be on you," says the Austrian duchess, Maria Theresa to her youngest daughter Marie Antoinette. The film, marketed for a teen audience, is an impressionistic retelling of Marie Antoinette's life as a young queen in the opulent and eccentric court at Versailles. The film focuses on Marie Antoinette, as she matures from a teenage bride to a young woman and eventual queen of France.
At the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy in France in 1815, tributes to the executed Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette were frequently offered, and two of the most important compositions used for their belated memorials were Luigi Cherubini's Requiem in C minor and Charles-Henri Plantade's Messe des morts in D minor. Cherubini's work was performed at a ceremony in 1816, shortly after the monarchs' remains had been moved to the royal crypt in St. Denis, while Plantade's score was revised and performed in 1823 for the thirtieth anniversary of Marie-Antoinette's death.
Guillotinée le 16 octobre 1793 au terme d'un procès politique expédié en quelques heures, Marie-Antoinette était-elle coupable ? L'Autrichienne, l'architigresse, la Madame Déficit des pamphlets révolutionnaires méritait-elle tant de haine, et finalement la mort ? Pour le savoir, il s'agit de refaire le procès de la reine. A cette fin, il nous faut instruire le procès de sa vie. Et comprendre comment, et pourquoi, cette femme, destinée à être aimée, cristallisa sur sa personne tous les ressentiments d'un peuple en révolte. …