Her name has become synonymous with the French monarchy and all its excesses, but there is more to the story of Marie Antoinette than the simplistic tale of how a frivolous sovereign helped provoke the uprising that became the French Revolution. She was, in fact, a tender-hearted, complex woman, whose tragic awakening came too late to save her from the guillotine. Without losing sight of the dire inequities in 18th-century France, this program paints a surprising portrait in which Marie Antoinette emerges as a sympathetic and, in the end, courageous figure. This film will trace her journey from the splendors of her childhood in the palaces of the mighty Austro-Hungarian Empire to her final hours in a squalid French prison cell. To tell the story of Marie Antoinette is to relive the great revolution that unleashed the forces that shaped our modern world.
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