Princess Diana Documentary Screens at Sundance, and the Reviews Are Here
Included between The crown and Kristen Stewart’s eye-catching performance in spencer, there has been a resurgence of interest in Princess Diana. “The People’s Princess” has always been a cultural focus, but a wave of new media has once again brought her tragic story to light. One of the hottest entries at this year’s Sundance Film Festival is Princessa new documentary that covers Diana’s story using only archival footage, without the input of talking heads or voiceovers.
There are few stones in this well-known story that have not been turned over, but Princess is praised for the unique way the narrative structure allows the viewer to form their own opinion while horribly emphasizing that Diana has been treated. The documentary is currently sitting at 81%, Certified Fresh, on all reviews rotten tomatoes.
A life cut short
“Using nothing but archival footage to chronicle Diana’s rise, her perpetual ‘television trial’ and downfall is no gimmick – it’s a stroke of genius, a jujitsu’s knockout blow on his executioners,” wrote rolling stone. The socket also called Princess “the definitive Princess Diana documentary.”
THE PRINCESS: The new PRINCESS DIANA documentary doesn’t tell me anything new, but using archival footage without narration or new interviews, director ED PERKINS allows viewers to draw their own conclusions about the roles the monarchy and the media played in his death. . #Sundance2022 pic.twitter.com/E69wHIDBWz
— Sundance Mantz (@MovieMantz) January 21, 2022
“This is a carefully arranged tale that not only tells the story of Diana’s fame, but becomes the story of a woman whose private life has become public property,” Deadline announcement Princess. It was a very intentional choice on the part of the director, Ed Perkins.
“I wanted to aim for something more immersive and unmediated, constructed solely from contemporary archival material from the time – the very imagery through which people ‘knew’ Diana. No interviews. No retrospective reflection. I was hoping that by doing so, we could come to something deeper, with more emotional clarity and honesty about these events and the strange power they had, and still have, over so much people”, Perkins said in a statement. “I also wanted to revisit the national dialogue and debate around Diana at the time – something that I think we have too easily forgotten. Diana herself was a complex and paradoxical figure. She was, in my view, one of the things that people found so compelling and magnetic about him.”
#Sundance2022 Film #1 – THE PRINCESS: A documentary about Princess Di told entirely through archival/news footage. It’s well-worn but fascinating territory to see how the media saw Diana in real time, and how an atmosphere of increasingly predatory hysteria led to her death. pic.twitter.com/nSET9RqxCT
—Dan Murrell @ Sundance (@MurrellDan) January 21, 2022
A flawless look
“Another Princess Diana project??? you might be wondering, but Ed Perkins’ remarkable Sundance documentary THE PRINCESS — no talking heads, no timeline, no graphics — is a marvel,” tweeted IndieWire writer Kate Erbland. “It made me feel awful, and I think that’s the point.”
THE PRINCESS uses real footage to show how the media attention has deeply affected Princess Diana. She fought two battles; that of the castle and the media. It’s a pretty generic doc but it captured the peoples princess as authentically as possible. #Sundance
— manda 💫 (@amxndareviews) January 21, 2022
A time capsule
“THE PRINCESS: Ed Perkins takes a unique approach to telling the story of Princess Diana that criticizes everything from media to constructions of gender”, tweeted critic Kristen Lopez. “Less a documentary and more a time capsule of a society. Dense and fascinating.”
THE PRINCESS: I’m not a big fan of the royal family or Princess Diana, but it’s a very good documentary about the people’s princess. The use of archival footage to tell Diana’s story is so well done that I ate it. No talking heads or narration were needed. #Sundance pic.twitter.com/zbYCQWFrDK
— Ian Bulaclac (@Ian_Boolocklock) January 23, 2022
THE PRINCESS: The archival document on Princess Di is well done and reminds us of how horrible the paparazzi were towards her. But it brings nothing new. https://t.co/zLBfzCfB2U
— Chris Evangelista (@cevangelista413) January 21, 2022
Some negative reviews
However, not everyone was a fan of The Princess. “A flawed little time capsule, the doc oscillates uncomfortably between benevolent character portrayal and a superficial attempt at media studies,” wrote The Hollywood Reporter. “There is nothing new here, nothing original and no new perspective,” wrote The temperature.