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Empress of Ambition: Catherine the Great hijacked a country she wasn't born to rule. To cling to power in a cutthroat world, she would have to overthrow and assassinate her husband, battle ... See full summary »
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This is a very beautiful biography of Catherine the Great of Russia. It not only consists of various interviews with smart folks from around the world today but it mostly done through recreations of scenes from the life of Catherine--using gorgeous costumes, sets and location shooting. It's really one of the prettiest biographies I've ever seen. And, it's probably the best film on her available. However, being a retired history teacher, I must point out its two major flaws. First, it picks up when she first travels to Russia as a teenager to marry the future Czar, Peter III. Practically nothing about her early life in Germany is mentioned. It wouldn't have taken that much effort to do so. Also, my know-it-all daughter kept pointing out (and she's right) that too often the film focused on Catherine's 'extra-curricular' activities (i.e., affairs) but omitted so many of the positive contributions to improving her nation--and particularly the new freedoms she'd grant her subjects. While this is indeed true, it does seem that the filmmakers made a deliberate choice to focus on Catherine the woman instead of Catherine the Empress. A logical choice but one that gives a somewhat narrow account of her amazing life.
Exceptionally well made and well wroth seeing.
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