The Princess by Ed Perkins, documentary (Sky Documentaries is streaming NOW)
Presented at various festivals, here is the “definitive” documentary on Lady Diana that comes after fiction, other television documentaries, some with a pink fairy tale background, others in a very black investigative-crime style, after the fourth season of The Crown, after a film with Naomi Watts (Diana- Lady D’s Secret Story) and one with Kristen Stewart (the recent Spencer). But it doesn’t look like any of the previous operations. Perkins has chosen to tell Diana as seen by the public, through thousands of hours of more or less unpublished repertoire, without interviews with experts but with many comments from the street: an indistinct shouting, similar to what we would find today on social media which, however, at the time there were not.
The director doesn’t even try to answer impossible questions. He doesn’t wonder if Diana was happy with the idea of marrying Charles. He does not try to understand how much the princess exploited her relationship with the press. He does not investigate the accident that led to her death 25 years ago.
Instead, it analyzes the public’s obsession, our obsession, towards it. Diana, idol of a time when newspapers were still relevant and at the center of the information cycle, made her problems as a poor rich girl universally “interesting” (in the literal sense, in the sense that the public cared): royal family snubs me, the husband cuckolds me, I go yes or no, I divorce and I become an influencer before there were influencers, indeed I become a kind of secular saint with whose name, however, luxury handbags will be baptized.
Diana has been a persistent thought, for a long time, for the whole world. Before, during and after the wedding. The vulgarity of Carlo and Camilla’s wiretaps, the shamelessness of Diana’s confessions on TV are pure reality show, pain TV, human frailties transformed into spectacles and also the premonition of the future that awaited us, on and off television, in the following decade. .
Tragically consistent, his death was just as spectacular. She happened, in fact, in the middle of the street, under the eyes of all, as shown by the film that begins with a crowd of onlookers who wonder why there are so many paparazzi in front of the Ritz Hotel in Paris. Soon after, that same hungry crowd will be watching the most photographed and filmed road accident of the past century.
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