- TV Mini Series
- 2000– 2000–
Documentary about the rise and fall of one of the greatest military geniuses of modern times from his Corsican childhood to final exile in St. Helena.Documentary about the rise and fall of one of the greatest military geniuses of modern times from his Corsican childhood to final exile in St. Helena.Documentary about the rise and fall of one of the greatest military geniuses of modern times from his Corsican childhood to final exile in St. Helena.
Others would have wilted, but Napoleon had the brilliance, energy and drive for these impediments to be a springboard for transcendence. And if the old saw, "timing is everything," needs validation, his life is the ultimate example. This man was a child when the "ancient regime" had run its course, and the unwashed masses had been exposed to ideas that were to be encapsuled in "Liberte, Egalite et Fraternite" rather than subservience to the exalted power of royalty.
Napoleon managed to be educated and spend his earliest years demonstrating his intuitive military skills, away from the "terror" when waves of beheading ebbed and flowed with the vagaries of hope, power and reaction. This film manages to get inside the head of this man, understand his limits that became his strengths, his sexual desires that sustained him even when he was across the world in his conquests.
We learn about a human being, whose particular megalomania was exactly what a country, a world in the chaos of profound structural revolution needed. So, the paradox of a populist revolutionary who crowns himself Emperor conveys the challenge of all political systems. Ideals and myths (as he acknowledged religious belief being a useful one for the masses) only go so far, as full equality negates the authority that is needed for order. The French Revolution is the ultimate cost of a failed state, of chaos, the same condition that we see in 2015 in the middle East under the Islamic Caliphate.
So, the contradictions of Napoleon Bonaparte as so brilliantly delineated in this documentary, graphically illustrate political truths that the world dare not lose sight of. Few commercial endeavors have this potential value.
- Feb 19, 2015