Ludwig II

Sunday, December 15
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2hr 20mins // directed by:Peter Sehr and Marie Noëlle

Bavaria, 1864: Just 18, Crown Prince Ludwig is a striking young man. Tall and good-looking, he is passionate about the grim, brooding works of Richard Wagner. When King Maximilian II unexpectedly dies, Ludwig is proclaimed King of Bavaria.

Ludwig (Sabin Tambrea) develops a deep appreciation for art and music, believing that it has mystical powers to change the course of humanity. The embodiment of his ideals is the music of Richard Wagner, for whom he becomes a devoted patron. The outside world intrudes on Ludwig's idyll in the form of the Franco-Prussian War, which forces him to make tough political choices. As his kingdom is absorbed by a unified Germany, Ludwig increasingly retreats from public life, prompting his ministers to declare him mentally unfit to rule, leading to tragic consequences.

The story of "Mad King Ludwig," known mostly for his lavish fairytale castles and his solitary nature, has been elevated to almost mythical status as the subject of more than 4,000 books and four films. This new version portrays him as a misunderstood, reluctant monarch who met his downfall by believing music and culture could change the world.