by Lauren Greenfield (2012)
The Queen of Versailles, dispute it’s reality tv appearance, is a thoughtful documentary that doesn’t get in its own way. It’s a perfect portrait in many ways of what is wrong in America.
Don Siegel, who could be a poster boy for the greed of the top 1% (he recently made headlines threatening his employees to vote for Romney and suing the film maker of this documentary for defamation) begins the film building the biggest single family home in America with his trophy wife Jackie.
She elicits much more sympathy than her husband but if he symbolizes corporate greed, she is a symbol the insatiable consumerism that effects most Americans rich or poor.
Part of the films success was luck. Had filmmaker Greenfield not been there when the economy collapsed and the Siegels lost nearly everything the story would not have been as fascited and fascinating but that doesn’t diminish the fact that it’s also a very well made film.
Many people like me are discovering this gem on netflix where topical docs abound but very few will be as interesting or thought provoking.
But what do you think?