August 1715, Louis XIV suffers an embolism kick-starting gangrene and resulting in confinement to his Versailles bedroom until his demise that September. Preparing for death and in constant pain, the king is surrounded by courtiers, ministers, relatives, doctors and close advisors. Working from the memoirs of the Duke of Saint-Simon and those of the Marquis de Dangeau, Serra describes with great precision the sordid details of the king’s last days, giving us history on a human scale: the ordinary, intimate, agony of death. (Notes by Marie-Pierre Richard)
Director’s note: Legendary actor Jean-Pierre Léaud, though barely speaking, embodies the Sun King in Serra’s peerless account of the slow agony and death of Louis XIV.
Screening as part of the IFI French Film Festival 2016.