Ludwig II

Germany | 2012 | 140 minutes | Marie Noëlle, Peter Sehr

In this lushly art-directed biopic, Sabin Tambrea portrays Bavaria's famous "Mad King Ludwig" as a misunderstood, reluctant monarch who met his downfall by believing music and culture could change the world.

May 30, 2013
SIFF Cinema Uptown Festival  
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May 31, 2013
SIFF Cinema Uptown Festival  
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June 1, 2013
Kirkland Performance Center  
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The story of "Mad King Ludwig," the 19th century Bavarian monarch 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, most notably Luchino Visconti's 1972 film, Ludwig. In this lushly art-directed biopic, co-directors Peter Sehr and Marie Noëlle give the life of King Ludwig II an epic treatment while also managing to understand the emotions that drove him. At a young age, 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. Pressured to produce an heir, he is briefly engaged to his cousin Sophie (Paula Beer), though it is clear their relationship is strictly platonic. The outside world, of course, 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. While the real Ludwig famously said he wished to "remain an eternal enigma to myself and to others," Sehr and Noëlle's portrait manages to shed a humanizing light on the tragic life of a deeply misunderstood monarch.

Director Biography
Though he studied physics and chemistry and earned a doctorate in biophysics at Oxford, the German-born Peter Sehr shifted to the world of cinema in the 1980s. Some of his best-known films include Kaspar Hauser (1993), Obsession (1997), and Love the Hard Way (2001). Sehr’s wife, Marie Noëlle, is a writer, producer, and director who often has collaborated with him on such films as Love the Hard Way (2001) and The Anarchist’s Wife (2008).

Sponsored in part by Goethe-Institut, Seattle University

Director: Marie Noëlle, Peter Sehr
Principal Cast: Sabin Tambrea, Hannah Herzsprung, Edgar Selge
Premier Status: North America
Country: Germany, Austria
Year: 2012
Running Time: 140 minutes
Producer: Ronald Muehlfellner
Screenplay: Marie Noëlle, Peter Sehr
Cinematographers: Christian Berger
Editors: Hans Funck
Music: Bruno Coulais
Awards: Bavarian Film Awards 2013 (Best Young Actor)
Filmography: Marie Noëlle: The Anarchist Wife (2008); Peter Sehr: The Anarchist Wife (2008); Love the Hard Way (2001); Obsession (1997); Kaspar Hauser (1993); Das Serbische Mädchen (1991)
Language: German, French
HasSubTitles: Yes
Format: DCP
International Sales: Global Screen
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