Diane Kruger film kicks off Berlinale

Diane Kruger film kicks off Berlinale

BERLIN - Agence France-Presse
Diane Kruger film kicks off Berlinale

German actress Diane Kruger poses on the red carpet at the premiere of her film. AP Photo

Diane Kruger opened the 62nd Berlin film festival on Feb 9 with “Farewell My Queen,” an erotically and politically charged drama about a lovelorn Marie Antoinette on the eve of the French Revolution.

The picture, which attracted only a lukewarm response at a press preview, features Kruger as the doomed young monarch in the final frantic hours of Louis XVI’s court at Versailles in July 1789 as armed peasants massed at the gates. Kruger brushed aside a question whether she was playing cinema’s first “lesbian Marie Antoinette” but said she could identify with her as a foreign woman living in a world of splendour.

“Some think she was a poor little party girl that was put in a situation that she was just overwhelmed by,” she said, perhaps recalling Sofia Coppola’s much-maligned “Marie Antoinette.”

“Others think she was a terrible queen and spoiled and rotten. I was trying to not judge her... I could relate to her as a woman.”

The French-Spanish co-production directed by Benoit Jacquot is one of 18 pictures vying for the Golden Bear top prize at the first major European film festival of the year.

Berlinale director Dieter Kosslick said he chose the film for the opening in part due to the parallels it draws with today’s popular uprisings including the Arab Spring and the “Occupy” movement against gross inequality of wealth.

“It’s been a year since (Egyptian leader) Hosni Mubarak was driven out of office and I suspect that the last 48 hours that he and the other despots had didn’t look much different than Marie Antoinette’s,” he told reporters.