The taking of power by Louis XIV

The taking of power by Louis XIV

DVD - 2009 | French
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Cardinal Mazarin dies in 1661. The young Louis asserts his intention to govern as well as rule. Mazarin's fiscal advisor, Colbert, warns against Fouquet, who wants to be prime minister and is looting the treasury. Fouquet believes Louis will soon tire of exercizing power and overplays his hand. Louis' mistress reports this to the king who arrests Fouquet. Louis and Colbert design a brilliant strategy to keep merchants making money, nobles in debt, the urban poor working and fed, and peasants untaxed. Years later, in a coda, Louis exercises the power of the sun.


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Apr 10, 2014

Excellent portrayal of one of history's great power plays. I admittedly knew very little about Louis the 14th before watching this, but I love to learn about history. I think it's great that Rossellini focused on such subjects as a way to educate the public via television in his post-cinematic phase. Some may find the pacing slow and the acting to be too stiff and deliberate, but if you're like me and like to watch all the DVD supplements, you'll get an explanation as to why this is. In short, I found this bio-pic on the Sun King to be brilliantly illuminating--pun intended--and look forward to seeing Rossellini's other historical reenactments within the Criterion Collection.


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