By Marie NOËLLE, Peter SEHR


Drama - Completed 2012

A dazzling, big-budget retelling of the life of Ludwig II, King of Bavaria, one of the world’s most fascinating monarchs. The man behind the myth, a ruler tormented by duty, love, betrayal, incomprehension. The moving, emotional epic of a monarch who broke every norm.

    • Year of production
    • 2012
    • Genres
    • Drama, Historical
    • Countries
    • Languages
    • GERMAN
    • Duration
    • 140 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Marie NOËLLE, Peter SEHR
    • Writer(s)
    • Marie NOËLLE, Peter SEHR
    • Producer(s)
    • Ronald MUEHLFELLNER (Bavaria Pictures GmbH)
    • Synopsis
    • Controversial in his time, Ludwig II (1845-1886) has long been a cult figure. Everyone familiar with his fantasy palaces Neuschwanstein, Linderhof and Herrenchiemsee can only marvel at the scope of the king’s vision – which was also that of a world of peace, culture and art.
      “Art will become more important than one’s daily bread,” rhapsodizes the young monarch upon succeeding his father as King of Bavaria. But the tall, good-looking king is nervous, uncertain about his role, fearful of not meeting his strict father’s expectations.
      More interested in art than artillery, in grand opera than in lowly budgets, he is called unrealistic, a dreamer. Suspicious of the palace courtiers, he surrounds himself with commoners who swear loyalty to him. He seeks friendship where love should blossom, and love where passion is forbidden.
      It is the moment of Richard Wagner. His grandiose operas cast their spell on the young ruler, who is ready to bankrupt his nation to foster Wagner’s monumental plans. And it is the hour of war, as Prussia sets its sights on establishing a German Empire. Bavaria needs a resolute king; but not even Ludwig’s beloved cousin Elisabeth, Empress of Austria, can convince him to address matters of state rather than devote himself to art.
      The war is lost, and Bavaria’s independence with it. Ludwig retreats into his dream world, ransacking the royal coffers to build the palaces of his visions. The sun begins to set on Ludwig’s life, but his legend has already taken root...
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