Ed Perkins, Academy Award-nominated director and author of the Sundance Award-winning documentary The Princess: Lady D, a whiteboard on which we display our fears
from our reporter
London – The Queen? We know less about Elisabetta, who has been on the scene for 70 years, than we do about Diana, who died at the age of 36. courier British director Ed Perkins, who has already been nominated for an Academy Award for the documentary Black Sheep about racial hatred in London -. And for the Queen, it must be said that she has done an amazing job because being a royal is hard, with such obsessive scrutiny, constant exposure… Dedicated to Diana Spencer who will turn 61 on July 1, without the tragedy of the accident 25 years ago. A documentary in Elizabeth’s year, even if it talks about Diana, tells of the (unresolved) relationship between the state and the monarchy. Not a historical documentary but something contemporary especially in this year of Elizabeth II celebrations – continues Perkins -. Because Diana’s death drew a line in the relationship between the people and the monarchy. This movie is about Diana, but through Diana about our perception of the crown, and thus about the fundamental debate going on in British society today.
it by saying?
Do we want our monarchy like us? Ordinary people, transparent? Or do we want to maintain this sense of mystery and magic? If we want it different, it’s easy to understand why Al Windsor is so disconnected from our time. On the contrary, if they are just like us, we have to resign ourselves to being like us even to family tragedies and traumas. This could lead us to consider it a TV series, Perkins follows the chosen one with the princess from the Biografilm in Bologna directed by Massimo Benvegne for the international preview of the eighteenth edition of the festival.
Everyday life and glamor: is property in between?
He’s trying to negotiate between these two positions: I don’t know what the right balance is but the debate on this platinum jubilee in London which if dedicated to the Queen, at least in the UK sees Princess Diana still on the front page.
The documentary highlights Diana but how does she keep a beacon in the monarchy?
Exactly, it was designed in such a way that it allows us to “flip the camera”, about our relationship with property, with our history, even with celebrities. We have not yet come to terms with all this. There have been events in the royal family in recent years in which Diana’s story has been echoed.
Thinking of Harry and Meghan?
Yes, there are parallels with what happened with Diana (and the media) reflected today. And I think what Harry said after he moved abroad makes one think: He was afraid that what happened to his mother could have happened to his wife or his family.
And what would Diana think, or what role would Diana have, in this London jubilee?
I don’t think anyone has ever figured out what role they will play in their life with a series of ifs, if… something interesting that I noticed rather than usual after two years of working on this type of documentaries eventually after studying a lot of archival material after talking to Many people related to the person, you end up knowing your hero very well. On the other hand, with Diana, I have a feeling that I still don’t understand Diana, the inner person. There is still something mysterious about her. More than that, it may and still be a blank canvas on which to display our fears. But also a mirror that reflects our image and our being. Only such a deep connection explains the truly unprecedented reaction that week after his death.
What do you remember when Diana died?
I was 11 years old when Diana passed away, I remember that moment very clearly. And there aren’t many other moments like those that she remembers so vividly at that age. With my father very emotionally affected by his death. I watched television and saw hundreds of thousands of adults and children taking to the streets of London and crying over them. It’s complicated to understand, huge reaction. I wasn’t old enough to understand, I was confused. I was not sad but dizzy at the reaction of this people: Why do families from all walks of life react in this way? As if a family member was crying.
How did you work on this Lightbox documentary?
With Simon Chinn (Oscar-winning producer in 2009 for Man on Wire and in 2013 for Searching for Sugar Man, editor) do we think first about the story we want to tell? In what sense do we want to say that? Then we ask ourselves what form will allow us to best serve the perspective that we have in mind. So we understood that relying only on archival material without any narrative voice, and without translation, allowed us to confront Diana in a new way. So I’ve read everything that has been written about her, and talked to people who knew her or had contact with her. Then I looked for international and regional archival sources here in the UK. And in the end, we discovered thousands of subjects, being the most photographed and photographed person for two decades. I looked through 8-12 hours of raw archives each day looking for those “micro-little moments”, those revealing little moments of a real princess.
Who is Diana then?
Diana as a silent film singer. Like Greta Garbo, with her body language capable of telling a story, her head tilted, a smile…she has this extraordinary ability to make us understand her feelings. And the film attempts to capture that body language, in short, to capture the translations of his movements.
The Spencers, Windsors: Were they involved in your project?
They know about the project but have not been involved in it. And I realize that for many Diana’s story is a generic one, but for William and Harry, this is a story about their mother and I understand the sentiment involved. It is not a responsibility to be taken lightly. So I told the story in a way that is seen as fair and balanced. It is a complex and difficult story. And I really hope William and Harry understand that.
Harry, who with Netflix also made his entry into the world of cinema, what do you expect as an insider?
I’m curious to see his movies, they’ll be great. And I think it was interesting to shoot this documentary when the Harry and Meghan story was on the front page, it reminded me of those days when Diana was alive and there was a constant conversation about her, and it was the topic of discussion in a tape at home. And people had very clear stances on the monarchy and Diana… and it was the same with Harry and Meghan. The movie also tries to bring all this discussion back to the surface.
Accident or conspiracy?
My thought was that it was a tragic accident. I came to the conclusion that in many ways it was very normal, and quite unusual. Ordinary: The more I search the more I see that she is fallible, she makes mistakes, and vulnerable because we don’t see the common people very often. And at the same time she was great in the way she interacted with people, how she made people comfortable. He had extraordinary emotional intelligence. His small gestures were able to change people’s lives. And great gestures, like his campaign against landmines, have been able to leave their mark on those living with HIV. People felt connected to it. She felt connected or responsible for what happened. This also explains why our relationship with history is so complicated.
A story that began with a fairytale royal wedding. with a tragic end.
That’s actually the other point: With Diana we saw the timeless legend of fairy tales become reality before our very eyes with her royal wedding. The millennium legend, but seeing it come true has had a powerful impact on us.
And what do new generations think about Diana?
I have young children and realized that for generations she was born after Diana from The Crown series. I hope that my work without explanations and arguments will give everyone the opportunity to get their own idea of Diana.
Twenty-five years after his death, this documentary was distributed in Italy by I Wonder Pictures (already selected by Sky Documentaries and NOW), and follows several films, most recently Spencer. why?
Because anniversaries always attract and there have been many films but each of them gave a voice to Diana through translation, trying to get to know Diana’s mind, in short, through the work of guessing and imagining. While this work allows viewers only films from which each can draw his own conclusions. But there is, moreover, this growing interest in the princess: that this story continues to tempt us with this character.
Jun 11 2022 (change on Jun 11, 2022 | 13:06)
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