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The Girl King

Mika Kaurismäki paints a clever and unconventional portrait of Queen Kristina of Sweden, one of the most influential European leaders of the 17th century.

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Unlike his brother Aki, Mika Kaurismäki does not make surreal films with surreal figures and stories. However, he also doesn’t construct a conventional historical film in the multinational production THE GIRL KING about the Swedish Queen Christina who became the heir apparent at 6 years old in 1632. There is no arch nemesis, though there’s a lot of intrigue and power plays in the court. The big world events are told parenthetically: the Westphalian peace negotiations which ended the 30 year war are told alongside the conquest and pillage of Prague by Swedish troupes. Both were spurred on by Christina – the seemingly contradictory pragmatism of a ruthless politician. But that’s just one aspect of Christina in Kaurismäki’s clever portrait. She is educated, thirsty for knowledge, invites René Descartes to Stockholm. She is aware of her authority, a Queen of a Great Power who influences the formation of Europe. She lives in a protestant milieu where science is considered heresy. She chooses a chambermaid to be her lover. The court tries to have a say without running counter to the Queen and France tries to win her over with its Catholicism without losing Sweden as an ally.
Some of the film’s contradictions aren’t resolved, some of it is speculation – but it’s about one truth that goes beyond the history books; a look behind the curtain of what this powerful woman had to fight against, a power player in a man’s world yearning for freedom which she could only achieve by making a radical move.

Harald Mühlbeyer

Translation: Elinor Lewy

Credits

Deutschland/ Kanada/ Schweden/ Frankreich/ Finnland 2015, 106 min
Genre: Biography, Drama, Historical Film
Director: Mika Kaurismäki
Author: Michel Marc Bouchard
DOP: Guy Dufaux
Montage: Hans Funck
Distributor: NFP
Cast: Peter Lohmeyer, Michael Nyqvist, Hippolyte Girardot, Martina Gedeck, Sarah Gadon, Malin Buska, Lucas Bryant, Laura Birn
FSK: 12
Release: 21.07.2016

Website
IMDB

Screenings

Screenings

  • OV Original version
  • OmU Original with German subtitles
  • OmeU Original with English subtitles

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