The Princess

The princess
The princess
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Everyone knows that before she died, Lady Diana Spencer was the most popular woman to ever live. Most people will tell you about much of what is in The Princess, Ed Perkins’ remarkable film made up mostly from old news footage which claims to show a different side of this most beloved of public figures by piecing together an astonishing amount of archive material. It may be an attempt to commemorate the individuality of someone whose privacy was violated beyond all bounds – but it still feels like one of the most hypocritical documentaries I have ever seen.

There are events such as Charles and Diana’s engagement, their wedding, her Panorama interview with Martin Bashir and others not concerning Charles at all, like Diana’s visits to AIDS patients or her participation in William and Harry’s sports day where she is always being watched by stubborn journalists wanting to know more – during her wedding to Charles the film has vox-pop interviews replayed for its viewership offering fans’ thrilling reactions to her choice of dress – but at best it is just a reminder that leads us back to her tragic end.

It is then, when members of our society turn towards cameras saying “the media” (accompanied by loud cheerful music) or “we should leave them alone”—that we begin to realize what damage has been caused both for herself and her family. Prince Charles gets most serious moments who defends himself while a lot of Diana’s moments are combined with a dramatic soundtrack or intrusive voiceovers by news anchors. (Fortuitously, no somber narrator follows these events until the princess dies.)

Aren’t we supposed to know how not listen? Everyone could easily demonize people responsible for whatever happened in order get praise from future generations. Sometimes films that make audiences feel uneasy on purpose so as either expose wrongs done or serve a larger purpose can be admired greatly. However, regarding Diana nobody had permission then or even now; this footage won’t save anyone anymore.

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